Little Girl Survives After Pencil Impales Her Skull

A colored pencil went through 20-month-old Olivia Smith’s eye socket and four inches into her brain.

Two weeks ago, Olivia Smith fell off a chair and onto an orange colored pencil. The pencil lodged itself in her brain through her eye socket.

While waiting for help to arrive, “I thought she was dying in my arms,” Smith’s mother Susie told Good Morning America.

Boston Children’s Hospital

“If you go in at a 45 degree angle in the corner of the eye, [the pencil] was about 2 and a half inches coming out, sticking out,” Fire Chief Dan McDonald told WMUR in New Hampshire. “And we didn’t know how long the pencil was … So there were 4 inches or more impaled between the eye and the back of the skull.”

At Boston’s Children’s Hospital, 50 doctors successfully removed the pencil. Olivia suffered three strokes during the surgery, but she is expected to make a full recovery.

Boston Children’s Hospital

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Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Jessica Testa at
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