A 16-month-old Australian toddler was recently given a second chance at life after his decapitated head was reattached to his body in what has been dubbed a “miracle surgery”. (see video below – click arrow to enlarge)
Jackson Taylor had been traveling with his mother, Rylea, and his nine-year-old sister Shane when their car was involved in a head-on collision. The other vehicle, driven by an 18-year-old, was reportedly going about 70 MPH. Airbags protected the mother, but Jackson’s sister received abdominal injuries and things were much worse for the baby. In a tearful interview, Rylea said she was aware something was terribly wrong the moment she was able to reach her son.
“The second that I pulled him out I knew. I knew that his neck was broken,” she recalled.
Medics had to airlift the child from the crash site in New South Wales, once the severity of his injuries were assessed. He was immediately flown to a hospital in Brisbane, Queensland. on the eastern coast of Australia.
X-rays revealed that the force of the crash was so tremendous that it had brutally pulled Jackson’s head from his neck internally. It’s called an “internal decapitation”, and it was the worst injury of its kind that any of his doctors had ever seen.
Reattachment surgery took a team of physicians six hours to complete. Jackson’s spinal cord, while damaged, had survived. But his first and second vertebrae were broken.
Fortunately, he was placed in the care of a doctor referred to as Australia’s “godfather of spinal surgery,” who led the operation. Dr. Geoff Askin and his team first had to attach a halo brace to the young toddler’s skull to completely immobilize his head, neck and shoulders. Then they had to ensure he was completely still, as the rest of the process involved reattaching Jackson’s vertebrae with a tiny sliver of wire and then using a piece of his rib to graft the two vertebrae together.
He was released to his family some time after the surgery, but will have to wear the brace for about eight weeks in order to give his body the time it needs to heal from the strain of the decapitation. The halo brace features a metal ring that was secured to young Jackson’s head during the surgery. Metal pins were put into place. The ring was then hooked up to four bars that were attached to a tiny body vest on the toddler.
It is the most rigid of all neck braces and must be worn for about eight weeks, after which Jackson will return to the hospital to have it removed.
Dr. Askin was quoted as saying, “A lot of children wouldn’t survive that injury in the first place, and if they did and they were resuscitated then they may never move or breathe again.”
The fortunate child’s father, Andrew, said, “We’re very, very thankful,” and his mother added, “It is a miracle.”