A 13-year-old Lynchburg, Va., boy is recovering after impaling himself in his neck with a bamboo spear while playing a ninja game.
Dez Heal was rushed to the hospital when he go hurt while playing with his friends more than a week ago, Lynchburg's WSET-TV reported.
Heal had the stick in the back of his shirt when it impaled him.
"I guess when he jumped, the stick must have went forward," said Heal's friend, Nicholas Blencowe.
"And when he hit the ground, the stick went in his neck."
The boy's father, David Heal, said the stick went through his son's neck and exited about 3 inches behind his left ear.
Doctors told ABC News they did not initially remove the stick.
"It sounds counterintuitive, but it's important to leave the object in place," says Dr. Abi Mehrotra, assistant medical director at the University of North Carolina Department of Emergency Medicine.
"You don't know what the damage is to the structure underneath. The object may be stopping the bleeding that may be happening."
Lucky for Dez, the stick did not hit an artery.