LONDON – A British student left for dead by a hit-and-run driver recovered after surgeons rebuilt his skull -- which was shattered into 30 pieces.
They painstakingly reassembled the fragments of bone and fitted nine titanium plates with 33 screws to fuse Jack Martindale's head together.
Leading surgeon Dr. Simon Holmes described the five-hour operation as "a bit of a jigsaw puzzle."
Two of his friends died on New Year's Day 2010 when speeding Shamail Syed's car mounted the curb and plowed into them. Medics expected Martindale to die within hours.
A team at the Royal London Hospital carried out the miracle surgery -- and even managed to remold his wrecked face.
Holmes said late Tuesday, "Having his face back in order was vital. We cannot bring his friends back but, from a bad place, he can lead a normal life. He has a chance of putting it behind him now."
The English and politics student at York University, northern England, said, "I am eternally grateful to everyone who has helped me. The care I had was incredible."