A grateful teen was recently reunited with the quick-thinking stranger who saved his life.
On June 7th, 16-year-old Yasser Lopez went spear-fishing with a friend at a Miami lake. The 3-foot gas-powered spear gun accidentally went off, piercing Lopez in the head, one inch above his right eye.
Astrid Cardoza, a complete stranger, saw the ordeal and rushed to Lopez's side. She stayed by his side until the ambulance arrived.
"I just hold his hand and I say you can't [pull the spear out]. And he told me, 'Please don't let me die,'" she told TODAY. "And I said, "You're not going to die."
Her wisdom saved his life. Doctors said that if the spear had been pulled out, Lopez would have died.
Lopez, still conscious, was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.
After three hours in surgery, doctors were able to remove the spear.
"It had gone from side to side of the skull, front to back. Now that's mighty unusual. I'd never seen that — exactly that combination," said Dr. Ross Bullock, the director of neurotrauma.
A tearful Lopez recently reunited with Cardoza at the lake and thanked her for saving his life three months ago, the DailyMail reports.
"It bothers me to come over here, because I was almost dead in these waters for a simple fishing trip," Lopez told WSVN-TV.
Lopez currently uses a wheelchair to get around, but doctors are confident the teen will make a full recovery. While he has months of therapy ahead of him, Lopez remains optimistic — and says he may even go fishing again, but "very safely, with a grownup near me," he says.