Thanks to what doctors call “a miracle surgery,” an Australian toddler is on the mend after enduring a near-death car accident that caused his head to detach from his body.
The Sun reported that 16-month-old Jackson Taylor was riding in the car with his mother and 9-year-old sister when they collided with another vehicle driven by an 18-year-old man at about 70 mph. The crash caused an internal decapitation, in which Jackson’s head became removed from his neck.
Jackson was airlifted from the site of the crash to a hospital in Brisbane, Queensland, on the eastern coast of Australia, where surgeons began a six-hour procedure to save the toddler’s life.
Dr. Geoff Askin, known as Australia’s “godfather of spinal surgery,” led the operation, which involved attaching a halo device to Jackson’s skull, holding him completely still while reattaching his vertebrae using a tiny piece of wire, and then taking a piece of Jackson’s rib to graft the two vertebrae together.
“A lot of children wouldn’t survive that injury in the first place,” Askin told 7 News Melbourne, “and if they did and they were resuscitated, they may never move or breathe again.”
Askin told the news station that Jackson’s condition was the worst injury of its kind that he’d seen.
Jackson’s parents, Andrew and Rylea, described the surgery and their son’s recovery as a “miracle.”
“We’re very, very thankful,” Andrew told 7 News Melbourne.
According to 7 News Melbourne, doctors expect Jackson to go home in the coming days and will wear the halo for eight weeks.