Published May 20, 2009
| Newscorp Australian Papers
MELBOURNE, Australia – A doctor in rural Australia used a handyman's power drill to bore a hole into the skull of a boy with a severe head injury, saving his life.
Nicholas Rossi fell off his bike on Friday in the small Victoria state city of Maryborough, hitting his head on the pavement, his father, Michael, said Wednesday. He was not wearing a helmet.
"He was a bit delirious at first, but then he stood up and said he was fine," his father said.
When he got home, Nicholas complained of a headache and his mother, Karen, a nurse, took him to the hospital.
At the hospital, Dr. Rob Carson realized the boy was suffering from bleeding on the brain, which can be fatal, and knew he had to make a hole in the boy's skull to relieve the pressure.
But the small hospital was not equipped with neurological drills — so Carson sent for a household drill from the maintenance room.
"Dr. Carson came over to us and said, 'I am going to have to drill into (Nicholas) to relieve the pressure on the brain — we've got one shot at this and one shot only,'" Michael Rossi told The Australian newspaper.
Carson drilled until a blood clot fell out and continued to treat Nicholas until he could be airlifted an hour later to Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital. He left the hospital on Tuesday — the day of his 13th birthday.
"If you are in that situation you just do those things," Carson said. "It is not a personal achievement, it is just a part of the job and I had a very good team of people helping me."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.