Doctor speaks after removing pencil from girl's eye, brain

Posted: 01/25/13 at 4:45 pm EST      Last Updated: 01/25/13 at 4:55 pm EST

BOSTON (WHDH) -- Just looking at the x-ray takes your breath away.

A colored pencil was jammed through the eye and into the brain of 20-month-old Olivia Smith of New Boston, N.H.

“It went in the inside corner of her right eye. It went through her skull and through her brain. Through both sides of her brain and over here to the back,” said Dr. Shenandoah Robinson.

Three weeks ago Olivia fell on the pencil. Almost the entire pencil was inside Olivia. Miraculously there is no apparent permanent brain damage. She is doing okay now, but that’s not the outcome Dr. Robinson was expecting when the toddler was first brought in.

“I was actually very concerned when I saw the initial images of her brain about how we were going to get her safely out of this hospital,” said Robinson.

When Olivia was rushed into Boston Children’s Hospital they quickly assembled a team of nearly 100 doctors, nurses and other specialists. For 45 minutes Dr. Robinson slowly and carefully pulled the pencil out.

“I would pull a little bit out. Doctor…would shoot some images…I’d pull a little bit more out. It was nerve-racking,” said Robinson.

Olivia was sedated the whole time, but no surgery was needed.

Doctors said Olivia’s prognosis is excellent. Her parents are grateful and so are the doctors.

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