An NYPD officer is being called the luckiest unlucky cop after he was stabbed in the head with a three-inch switchblade.
Eder Loor, 28, was responding to a 911 call in East Harlem Tuesday when an emotionally disturbed man drove a knife into his left temple.
"He was fortunate because the knife entered in the Sylvian fissure," said Dr. Joshua Bederson, the neurosurgeon who treated Loor at Mount Sinai Hospital.
The fissure, Bederson explained, is a crevice between the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, like the crack between two couch cushions.
"But between those two cushions there are a lot of important blood vessels," he said. "So it's not a fissure you take lightly."
The knife severed a vein and nicked an artery, but spared neighboring brain regions crucial for speech and memory.
"He was lucky and the surgery went well," said Bederson, who performed emergency surgery to stop the bleeding. "The stars were aligned."
Loor's partner, Luckson Merisme, caught the attacker a block away from where the stabbing occurred, the Associated Press reported.
Bederson said Loor is awake, but he's not out of the woods. He has a lot of pain from the knife penetrating the muscular layer atop his skull, and numbness in his face from a severed nerve.
"He has what looks like a laceration of the maxillary branch of his trigeminal nerve," said Bederson, describing the nerve numbed by dentists before fillings or root canals. "The left side of middle face is very numb, like having Novocain injected all along that nerve. It's a very disturbing feeling. Fortunately that tends to improve over time."
Loor is also at risk for seizures and infections, Bederson said.
"We're keeping him on anti-epileptic medication for a while," he said. And because the knife and bits of bone and skin that penetrated his skull were not sterile, he's also taking antibiotics.
Loor, a married father of one with another baby on the way, has been a member of the force since 2006, according to the AP.
"Even though he's a very energetic, athletic, physically fit and robust man from everything I've been told, I expect he's going to feel like he was hit by a truck for a while," said Bederson. "One of main things that will limit his fast recovery is his energy level and comfort with concentrating and doing everything he's used to doing."
Bederson said Loor's recovery could take a few weeks or a few months. It's unclear whether he'll ever return to the force.
"Even if he makes a complete recovery, people are sometimes traumatized by something like this," said Bederson. "The stress of having undergone this kind of injury and surgery can be overwhelming."