It’s pretty easy to hoax people. We all want to be deceived, but only up to a point. Some hoaxes are fun and pleasant, others malicious and unpleasant. We’d like a way to tell the difference (Robert Carroll).

Jan 14, 2013

Arrow Penetrated a Brain did not Cause Damage

The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of
the human genome by honoring those who
accidentally remove themselves from it...

This story has submitted several times for the Darwin Award, however it never was accepted as a winner, because the hero has survived, which is a remarkable fact by itself. Nevertheless, the story has been confirmed as a true one, in spite of the fact that medicine claims that this case is quite unique, and anyone trying to reproduce it, is doomed to fail.

Tony Roberts, 25, an unemployed carpenter, was shot in May 1993 through the skull with hunting arrow at the friend's home in Grants Pass, about 200 miles south of Portland, Oregon.

Paramedics saved his life by restraining him when he tried to pull the arrow out himself in the helicopter on the way to University Hospital in Portland, said Dr. Johnny B. Delashaw.

"If he had succeeded, the flanges slicing through his brain would have killed him instantly," said Delashaw, a neurosurgeon at the hospital. The arrow's tip went 8 to 10 inches into Roberts' brain through his right eye, with the tip protruding at the rear of his skull, yet somehow managed to miss all major blood vessels. Doctors said had the arrow gone 1 millimeter to the left, a major blood vessel would have been cut and Roberts would have died instantly.

At a hospital news conference Tuesday, Roberts initially told reporters that he was walking through a park when he heard a bow fired, then felt the arrow hit. Later, he reluctantly admitted that his friend was trying to knock the beer can off his head as part of an initiation into a rafting and outdoor group called Mountain Men Anonymous, but unfortunately, missed the target and managed to hit his eye.

Police investigators said they had no doubt that the can story is true. Roberts, who was released from the hospital in a few days, said he was drinking with friends when the accident occurred.

"I feel really stupid," Roberts said.

Surgeons removed the arrow from Anthony Roberts' head by drilling a larger hole around the tip at the skull's back and pulling the arrow through.

No charges have been filed but the Josephine County district attorney's office, classifying the misfortune as hunting accident.

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