Local man recovering following fall
Trimming a tree for a friend Thursday afternoon started as a routine chore for Josh Pearson.
But in a matter of seconds, Pearson had fallen to the ground and suffered a life-threatening injury.
The 1996 Tonganoxie High School graduate was helping trim a tree in Kansas City, Kan., when he lost his balance and started to fall. As he fell downward, Pearson tried grasping for anything along the way, but he continued to plummet.
When he hit the ground, the left side of his head, just behind his temple, landed on the antlers of a deer lawn ornament.
Pearson's mother, Pat, who lives in Tonganoxie, said her son fell about 20 feet.
"He got up and felt something hanging on the side of his head," Pat said. "He pulled it out himself.
"When he pulled it out the blood started squirting out. The people just totally went off."
Friends grabbed towels to put on the side of Josh's head. They then rushed him to Overland Park Regional Medical Center's trauma unit.
Doctors told Pat and her husband, Steve, that if the antlers had penetrated just a half-inch farther, Josh would have been dead or paralyzed.
"I guess he told his dad he thought he was going to die when he pulled that out of his head," Pat said.
CAT scans revealed that the injury caused a blood clot. Doctors performed emergency surgery and removed the clot.
In the process of falling, Josh also sustained several cuts to his body.
"There are gashes all on his arms," Pat said. "He's pretty much got stitches everywhere."
Josh, who lives with his parents, worked three years for a tree-trimming business. He had plenty of experience with even larger trees, but lost his balance Thursday.
Although he's not awake often, Josh is aware of his surroundings and is speaking clearly. He also remembers everything that happened last Thursday afternoon.
"He knows who you are and talks to you for a little bit and then he would be out of it," Pat said.
Josh has moved from intensive care to a private room, but he remains sedated, his mother said.
"He just wants to sleep," Pat said. "He wants to be left alone, which is probably a good thing.
"He's wanting to come home, of course, but they won't let him."
Josh started running a fever Monday, but doctors said that was somewhat normal. There also is substantial swelling and doctors said there is internal bruising.
"It didn't look very good inside from what the doctors said," Pat said.
For now, Josh and his family don't know how long he'll be in the hospital.
They're in a day-by-day mode at this point, nearly a week after his brain lining was severed and he almost lost his life.
"They still don't know what the outcome of all of this is going to be or if there's any future therapy," Pat said. "The doctors are pretty optimistic and they're good doctors he's got.
"It's really going to depend on Josh what the outcome is going to be."