Teen survives anchor to the head; pals dub him ‘Anchorman’

Great Odin’s Raven!

What could have been a horrific tragedy has become a lighthearted wisecrack among friends.

Back in March, Florida teen Caleb Bennett was on a boat with his friends and brother when, in a freak accident, an anchor became lodged in his skull. Miraculously, the Gulf Coast 14-year-old managed to avoid a serious brain injury. But he’s since earned himself a classy nickname.

Now, his relieved family and friends call him “Anchorman.”

How the accident happened is difficult to imagine. The teen was on a boat when its anchor swung from the back and hit him in the forehead — hard. He then grabbed it and tried not to move as he sat with the weight of the anchor — and his life — in his hands.

He asked his friend to call 911, telling him, “I’m probably going to die.”

Caleb’s parents, meanwhile, were celebrating their anniversary in the Bahamas when they got the call.

“Needless to say, I kind of lost it,” mom Kelli Bennett, told CNN. She and her husband, Rick, flew back to Florida that same night.

When they arrived at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, pediatric neurosurgeon Luis Rodriguez explained to the Bennetts that Caleb was in a medically induced coma and had underwent a craniotomy to remove part of his frontal lobe, which gave his brain space to swell without causing complications. In May, doctors placed a metal plate in place of the removed portion of brain.

Doctors warned Caleb’s parents that the boy may never speak, walk or move easily again.

But in just five days, he was on his feet.

“I’ve seen things like this, but I’ve never seen an anchor, No. 1; and No. 2, I’ve never seen anybody with an injury like that walk out of the hospital almost completely neurologically intact,” Rodriguez said in a video produced by the hospital. “That’s one in a million.”

His parents say that Caleb is still healing and taking life a little slower, but has managed to get back to the water for a fishing trip here and there.

He’s also suffered two minor seizures since the accident — which doctors had anticipated and have given him drugs to stave off more.

But the Bennetts know things could have been so much worse.

“He should’ve died right where he stood,” said Rick. “Even if this is our cross to bear for a while or indefinitely, it’s better than the alternative.”

Caleb, for his part, is especially optimistic.

“I can’t believe I had an anchor in my head. Like, that’s pretty crazy,” Bennett told the hospital. “My friends now call me the ‘Anchorman’ so that’s kind of cool.

“I’m kind of a big deal around here.”

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