Category: Current Affairs
Published on Friday, 09 October 2015 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
Medical science has come a long way, but who would have ever expect that doctors could successfully reattach a head after it was separated from its spine?! When a toddler's head snapped off from his spine, one would expectedly presume him dead, but the little boy was still alive and doctors rushed to save him. And unlike all the king's horses, and all the king's men, the doctors actually managed to put baby Jaxon back together again.
16-month-old Jaxon Taylor was riding in a car with his mother and 9-year-old sister last month when they collided head-on with another car at a speed of 110 km/hr in northern New South Wales. Thankfully, there were no fatalities, but the sheer force of the crash tore apart Jaxon's upper vertebrae, leaving his head internally decapitated, but still alive.
"It is a miracle," said Jaxon's mother Rylea. "The second I pulled him out, I knew that he, I knew that his neck was broken," she added.
Jaxon was airlifted to a Brisbane hospital where a team of surgeons, spearheaded by Australian's “godfather” of spinal surgery, Dr. Geoff Askin, whisked him away to the operating room. The little boy underwent a 6-hour surgery during which a halo was attached to his skull. The surgeons then expertly reattached his vetebrae with a tiny piece of wire, and a piece of Jaxon's rib was used to graft the two vertebrae back together.
Askin mentioned that it was the worst injury of its kind that he had ever seen and that a lot of children would not have survived such an injury, or even if they did, they would never be able to move or breathe again without help.
"A lot of children wouldn't survive that injury in the first place," Askin said. "And if they did and they were resuscitated they may never move or breathe again."
However, little Jaxon is rapidly on the mend, and the adorable toddler is smiling, eating and learning how to walk only just two weeks after his skull was severed from his spine. He is due to be discharged from the hospital soon and will wear his halo head brace for another eight weeks and is expected to make a full recovery.