An internally decapitated toddler has taken his first steps after undergoing surgery.
According to NBC News, 16-month-old Jaxon Taylor was internally decapitated following a 70-mph car crash in New South Wales. Jaxon was riding in the vehicle with his mother and 9-year-old sister last month when they collided with another vehicle. The extreme force of the impact left tore apart Jaxon's vertebrae and left his head internally decapitated. While his head was still attached to his body, inside his neck was broken, an injury that most people would not survive.
Jaxon's injuries were so severe that the doctors said it was a wonder that he didn't die instantly. His 9-year-old sister suffered abdominal injuries during the crash, but her injuries were nowhere near as severe as her younger brother's.
"The second I pulled him out, I knew that he — I knew that his neck was broken," the toddler's mother Rylea Taylor said through tears.
7 News Melbourne reported that Askin, who is known as the "godfather of spinal surgery," and his team, used one of Jaxon's ribs to graft the severed vertebrae together, during a six-hour surgery that saved his life.
"It is probably a severe spinal injury with no serious trauma to blood vessels or the spinal cord itself," Dr. Brett Belchetz, a physician from Toronto, told CBC News. "Otherwise it would have been unsurvivable. Repairing such an injury is complex but routine. The miraculous element here is to have such a severe bony injury without associated other deadly vascular or spinal cord trauma."
"More than 95 [percent] of people who suffer atlanto-occipital dislocation, or internal decapitation, die immediately," Dr. Nitin Bhatia, UC Irvine Medical Center's chief spinal surgeon, told Time in 2009. "Of the 5 [percent] who make it to the hospital, half die, and the other half are quadriplegics."
Jaxon's doctors said he will have to wear a brace over his head for eight weeks to help the tissues and nerves connecting his head to his spine to heal. While the process may take a while, Jaxon's doctors expect him to make a full recovery, and believe he will be able to go on living his life like any other 1-year-old child.
[Photos via YouTube video screenshots]