In what’s being called a “miracle” surgery, a 16-month-old boy in New South Wales, Australia, had his head reattached to his neck following a head-on collision at 70 miles per hour.
Rylea Taylor, Jaxon’s mother, was driving when the accident happened. The force of the crash was so intense that it broke his C1 and C2 vertebrae, decapitating the toddler, according to the Independent. Although the word draws up gruesome images of a completely severed head, Jaxon’s injury was what’s known as an internal decapitation—in other words, his head was not completely detached from his body.
“A lot of children wouldn’t survive that injury in the first place, and if they were resuscitated then they may never move or breathe again,” Dr. Geoff Askin told 7 News Melbourne.
Dr. Askin, Australia’s “Godfather of Spinal Surgery,” led the six hour emergency surgery where he was able to successfully reattach the child’s skull to his spine using a piece of wire and fragments of Jaxon’s rib to fuse the bone together.
Jaxon will have to wear a “halo” apparatus for as long as eight weeks, but doctors project he will live a happy, normal life once fully recovered.
According to Rylea Taylor, the boys driving the other vehicle will only receive a suspended license as punishment for their reckless driving.
Taylor launched a Change.org petition demanding Australia “deter others from ruining innocent people’s lives. One body to create harsher laws that reflect the suffering they have caused. … [Laws that] might actually make people think twice before driving recklessly.”