A young boy who was working on his tree house narrowly escaped death after meeting with a freak accident. Darius Foreman of Maryland was rushed to hospital after a six-inch screw got lodged in his skull.
The teen fell off a tree branch and inadvertently knocked over a five-foot-long wooden board with the screw that landed on his head.
"I thought something was stuck in my hair," he told Delmarva Now.
Emergency services were forced to trim the board down to two feet in order to fit Darius into the ambulance. He was later airlifted to John Hopkins Hospital, where X-rays revealed that the piece of metal had wedged in between the two halves of the brain.
"He was a millimetre away from having himself bleed to death," Dr Alan Cohen, chief of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, told CNN.
"That's what made this injury so serious — that fact that he could have exsanguinated (suffered major bleeding)," he added, describing the situation as a "ticking time bomb".
According to reports, the screw threatened to damage an area of the brain called the superior sagittal sinus. This portion contains the brain's major channels to drain blood.
Dr Justin Thomas, a neurosurgeon at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, New York told Live Science that damage to it could "result in massive haemorrhage".
Dr Shenandoah Robinson first removed the board from Darius' head, following which Dr Cohen removed the screw while attempting to prevent any additional bleeding. They also removed a small blood clot that had formed, before fitting a titanium plate on his skull.
"We went slowly and carefully, and we managed to get the thing out," Cohen said. "He's a lucky kid."
Darius was discharged on 25 January, his 13th birthday. The hospital presented him with the screw as a keepsake of his near-death moment.