Survived Brain Shot

This is a discussion on Survived Brain Shot within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Good for her, but it shows even shot placement isn't always enough. Woman survives near point-blank shot in head, even makes cup of tea, deputies ...

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Thread: Survived Brain Shot

  1. #1
    Member Array lgsracer's Avatar
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    Survived Brain Shot

    Good for her, but it shows even shot placement isn't always enough.

    Woman survives near point-blank shot in head, even makes cup of tea, deputies say
    Posted by Cherie Ward, Staff Reporter April 16, 2009 5:44 AM

    Woman survives near point-blank shot in head, even makes cup of tea, deputies say - Breaking News from the Press-Register -

    PASCAGOULA, Miss. -- A rural woman shocked deputies when they found her alert and coherent after being shot in the head at close range by her husband.

    She even made a cup of tea, according to one of the deputies.

    "There's no way she should be alive," Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said. "The bullet completely passed straight through her brain. It entered at the middle of her forehead and exited from the back of her head. She should be dead. It's one of the most unreal, bizarre things I've ever seen."

    Byrd said that Donald Ray Sexton shot his wife Tammy in the forehead at 12:10 a.m. Tuesday, then went to the back porch of their home on Billy Hinton Road in the Harleston community in north Jackson County and fatally shot himself.

    Deputies believe that the couple had been arguing.

    Tammy Sexton, 47, was airlifted to the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile. A hospital representative said Wednesday afternoon that Sexton was listed in fair condition in the intensive care unit.

    Lee Kesterson, a neurosurgeon with the Singing River Health System, said that a gunshot victim's alertness after a head wound signals their ability to survive it.

    "If a person is in a comatose state, chances of survival are poor," he said.

    Byrd said a young relative was in the home when the shootings occurred and ran to a neighbor for help.

    "When deputies got there, they thought they were responding to a murder-suicide," Byrd said. "But, she was up walking around and talking."

    Sheriff's Sgt. Leon Rushing said Tammy Sexton told detectives she had "just made some tea and was fine."

    Rushing said she appeared slightly disoriented but was alert and responsive to questions.

    "She had a cup of tea on her nightstand," Rushing said. "That was evidence that she had gone to the microwave and made tea. I'm sure she made it after she was shot."

    Police recovered a .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun, which they believe was the pistol that 57-year-old Donald Sexton used in the shootings, Byrd said.

    Rushing said hospital officials told him Wednesday that doctors were predicting that Tammy Sexton would make a full recovery.

    "I've seen many, many head wounds over the years, and people just don't survive getting shot in the head," Byrd said. "She's an absolute miracle."

  2. #2
    Member Array fatcat's Avatar
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    ABC news will pick this up and air a special about how guns don't work anymore because we are becoming immune to bullets.....:~)

    Seriously though, these kinds of things have happened before. Probably just a matter of millimeters between life and death.

  3. #3
    Ex Member Array GreenHorn's Avatar
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    Maybe it wasn't a vital organ in her case?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array BradyM77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenHorn View Post
    Maybe it wasn't a vital organ in her case?
    "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything!" Bart Simpson

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array highvoltage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenHorn View Post
    Maybe it wasn't a vital organ in her case?
    That could be.

    Or maybe it passed perfectly between the two brain halves doing minimal damage on its way out. Anyway, she's very lucky.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array TerriLi's Avatar
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    I actually saw a similar story years ago. The kid was shot by a .357 sadly he didnt fare as well as the woman, he lost half his brain, but survived. Strangly enough though he didnt loose that much ability, infact other then recovery from the wound graduated pretty much on time in school, and went on to live a normal life.
    I know not what this "overkill" means.

    Honing the knives, Cleaning the longguns, Stocking up ammo.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array gilraen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenHorn View Post
    Maybe it wasn't a vital organ in her case?
    ho, ho, ho.

    I would be interested in seeing a brain scan, to see what parts of the brain it *did* go through.

    Plus, some deficits from brain damage are subtle. The rest of her family may see things that others don't.
    "I pledge allegiance to the war banner of the united states of Totalitaria. And to the Republic, which no longer stands, several bankers, who are now god, indivisible, with Bernanke bucks and credit for all."

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    The brain has surprisingly few blood vessels. There have been many cases where people survive with little effect after serious brain destruction. Most notably:

    Phineas Gage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Phineas P. Gage (July 9?, 1823 – May 21, 1860) was a railroad construction foreman now remembered for his incredible survival of an accident which drove a large iron rod through his head, destroying one or both of his brain's frontal lobes, and for that injury's reported effects on his personality and behavior—effects said to be so profound that friends saw him as "no longer Gage."

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Agreed Nutz.

    How this brain surgeon specialist can state what he did is stunning to me considering the _fact_ of the matter that very many people have been shot in the head never mind had a bullet pass into and even through the brain resulting not in death or coma and even staying awake and aware through the whole ordeal. This is not unheard of nor even unusual.

    What I also noted was that she had already made her tea and was sipping it at bedside before the police arrived per their own statement.
    It generally takes five minutes to boil water in a cup in a microwave.
    Add another 3 minutes for the bag of tea to steep in the cup to the point that it's drinkable.
    Add to that the time it takes to travel from her kitchen to the bedroom, lets say 45 seconds to one minute.

    Total time before LEO response on site is an estimated 9 minutes plus or minus 15 seconds.
    Well within the national average per DoJ Bureau of Statistics reporting of same.

    Proof once again that the anti's thoughts of nobody needs a gun just dial 911 is not a winning plan.
    Not that in this specific case a firearm would have done this woman any good. But on the whole of things as related to timing it does show how ineffective the expectation of depending solely on 911 can be.

    - Janq

    P.S. - There is no doubt this woman was brain damaged by the bullet.
    A rational thinking person upon being shot anywhere muchless in the head would be panicked and seeking aid ASAP...not thinking to make them self a cup of te without wondering where their child might be and what happened to the person that shot them.
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  10. #10
    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    The brain is probably still one of the least understood organs in the human body. It is very complex, and the most vital areas are actually quite specific. Something like this is certainly physically possible, just extremely unlikely!

    Sort of like getting shot multiple times in the chest, but having all rounds pass through without hitting any major blood vessels, the heart, lungs, or spine.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    had a patient once that shot herself in the ribcage directly over the heart. Bullet exited through the back. Found out later the bullet, a 38, tracked around the ribs and never entered the chest.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

  12. #12
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    Me thinks she was a blonde!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array bobcat35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgsracer View Post
    Sheriff's Sgt. Leon Rushing said Tammy Sexton told detectives she had "just made some tea and was fine."
    i want some of that tea
    "Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result."
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    Every well-bred petty crook knows: the small concealable weapons always go to the far left of the place setting.
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  14. #14
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    The bullet possibly created some new neural pathways.
    She will probably become the next Einstein.
    She will be a genius now.

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgsracer View Post
    Good for her, but it shows even shot placement isn't always enough.
    Actually, I think it shows how important shot placement is. As others have pointed out, there are lots of examples of survivable brain trauma, and, though this woman was obviously very lucky, examples where the person fully recovers.

    The only more-or-less guaranteed shut-down shot to the human body is the brain stem, which is about the size of a person's thumb. There is an incident recounted in Gunny Hathcock's biography (I forget whether he took the shot or observed the results of somebody else's shot) where an NV soldier got the top of his head taken off by a sniper's bullet; the NV managed to move some twenty or thirty steps, firing his AK-47 the whole way. Now, the NV soldier died, but that's a heck of a lot of action for somebody who who took a .308 lobotomy...
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