Toddler suffers internal decapitation following road traffic accident
Truly remarkably surgeons have managed to re-attach the head of a 6 month old toddler who was left with a severed neck in a severe car accident in Australia. It's a miracle that he survived this injury as most people, let alone toddlers, would be unable to move again. He was airlifted to hospital in Brisbane, Australia and underwent six hours of surgery.
Jacksons mother described the accident and despair in an online account.
"You never imagine it will happen to you. You never think that someone's stupidity could change your life forever - but it can. On the 15th of September 3 boys decided to do doughnuts and burn outs aside a bend in a NSW highway at 11am. Their stupidity cost my family more than you could image. As my car came around the bend at around 100-110kms dust covered the road - the P platers had released their break and drove straight out onto the highway. For a split second I saw dust and then the force hit. The collision so hard that all airbags were deployed. My 9 year old daughter was unconscious, my 16 months old son was screaming - both were bleeding from their tiny faces."
The force of the crash separated his spine at C1-C2 and fractured his collarbone. Amazingly, the spinal cord remained intact and it was just a matter of re-aligning the skull and vertebrae.
"How that spinal cord has managed to go around that corner and not sever is a miracle." Dr Geoff Askin, Spinal Surgeon
During the operation the surgical team lead by Dr Geoff Askin firstly attached the halo Jackson's skull to stabilise and then the surgeon painstakingly re-attached his vertebrae without damaging his spinal cord using wire and a sample of rib to fuse the vertebrae together. He remains in a halo for 8 weeks in the hope that the bone will fuse.
This is just one example of how the correct treatment and access to advanced medicine can provide for a life without disability. This is an incredible recovery from essentially what was an internal decapitation.
Fieldfisher often act for clients who have suffered spinal cord injuries, we have access to advanced techniques and rehabilitation providers and also work with a number of charities. A wide reaching understanding of what is available to clients is crucial to our work and achieving the best possible outcomes and quality of life.
We hope that the devastating trauma from not only the road traffic accident but the ongoing trauma of Jackson's treatment will be overcome and he will not be left with any ongoing disabilities.
By Jennifer Buchanan, Associate
Photo credits: Screenshot from 7 News Melbourne
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