Miracle escape for toddler who tripped on pencil

A toddler has made a miracle escape after falling on a pencil which pierced her eye socket and entered her brain.

Two-year-old Wren Bowell, from Bath in England, had to undergo four-hour surgery as surgeons removed the pencil, which missed a major blood vessel by just one mm.

Had the pencil pierced a blood vessel, doctors believe it would have almost certainly resulted in severe brain damage or death.

"The pencil missed her eye completely," Wren's father, Martyn Bowell, told The Guardian.

"We only found out afterwards that the pencil missed two major blood vessels and if it had gone a millimetre either way it could have been a lot worse if it had hit a third."

Wren had been in her bedroom drawing a picture when she ran through to show her parents what she had done. However, she tripped over a stairgate and on to the pencil, which went through her eye socket.

"The stairgate was there to keep her safe, but as she tripped over it while carrying the pencil she fell on to it. If anything happens to your child you are shocked," Mr Bowell continued.

"A broken bone would be bad enough, but something happening to the eye, head or brain is one of the worst things that could possibly go wrong."

Luckily for Wren, her mother, Michelle, is a nursery nurse and realised she should not attempt to take the pencil out, and instead contacted emergency services.

Mr Bowell added: "The pencil was stuck so hard that they had to pull part of her face off and take out part of her skull to take out the pencil. They then put Wren's skull back together with plastic plates and screws, which will biodegrade."

Wren is making a full recovery after spending three weeks in hospital.

The consultant neurosurgeon who operated on her, Ian Pople, said: "The pencil was within a millimetre of hitting a big blood vessel in the brain. It just skirted the top of the eye and that it didn't damage the eyeball itself was very fortunate."

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