Yasser Lopez

In June 2012, 16-year-old Yasser Lopez and his friends went spear fishing at a Miami lake – a way to celebrate the last day of school. One of his friends was loading the spear gun when it accidentally deployed, hitting Yaseer in the head. Yasser was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center with three feet of the spear protruding from his forehead.

The spear entered Yasser’s head two inches above the right eye and came out at the vertex at the back of his skull. A rebar cutter, provided by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, and vise-gripes (locking pliers) were used to stabilize the spear in the patient’s head. Eighteen inches of the protruding spear was removed on the outside of his forehead to allow doctors to do a complete radiographic evaluation of the patient. Luckily, the spear didn’t hit any vessels in his brain.

Yasser was then rushed to the operating room where doctors were able to successfully remove the spear from his skull and brain. The surgery lasted approximately three hours.

Yasser underwent physical, occupational and speech therapy at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital for two months.

“I’m thankful to the team who saved my life,” said Yasser. “They helped me transform my life from what I was when I arrived at the hospital to where I am today.”

Yasser, now 21 years old, has since recovered and lives an independent life. He’s going to college and works at a store in Doral.

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“Jackson treated me fantastically, especially their caring staff and brilliant doctors,” Woody said. “Jackson is a special place where countless people get excellent care, particularly those who need it the most.”

Steven Avila

“I’m grateful to Ryder Trauma Center,” he said. “They saved my life. The treatment was the best in the world.”

Desiree Meyer

“I have fond memories of Ryder and the medical staff,” Desiree said. “Everyone was so great to me. They made me feel like I was not alone.”

Tiffany Davis & Skyla Milton

“Doctors made sure I was all right before I got out of the hospital,” said Davis, “and I hope they just keep it up and save other people, like how they worked on me.”