Former Idaho beauty queen Jamie Lamb Hilton survived a bizarre head injury, which resulted in part of her skull being stored in her stomach. While on a wilderness hike in June with her husband Nick, she caught her foot in a grate and fell about 10 feet from a concrete embankment, and hit her head on some boulders. After multiple surgeries, she considers herself lucky to be alive.
When her husband reached her after the fall, he was initially afraid he would invoke paralysis by moving her body. She had no pulse, so he made a leap of faith and gathered up wife. His his forest ranger brother-in-law Greg helped get Jamie to a space where Life Flight could land. Jamie Hilton remained unconscious throughout the entire ordeal. Doctors had to drain her brain due to swelling and severe bleeding. She was given just a 50 percent chance of survival, according to her blog.
During the brain surgery about 25 percent of Hilton’s skull was removed and surgically zipped inside of her stomach. She remained in a medically induced coma for several days. The mother of three was surely quite shocked when she finally awoke to a shaved head and an odd protrusion in her stomach, the New York Daily News reports.
Jamie had this to say about the accident and portion of skull stored in her stomach:
“I can read, I can write, I can walk, I can dance. I can carry my kids. I’m just normal! There was so much support and prayers from so many people, even many I didn’t know. It was pretty shocking. I didn’t know they did that. There was just this bulge.”
Despite having what she jokingly referred to as a Frankenstein-style head, she never gave up faith. After 42 days, the swelling in Hilton’s brain finally stopped and doctors were able to reattach her skull with titanium screws. She calls her recovery almost seamless and feels she walked away from the horrific accident pretty much unscathed. The only lasting damage from the hiking accident appears to be that her sense of smell is almost gone. Jamie’s favorite food, chocolate, just doesn’t taste as good anymore.