Updated 07 October 2015

Toddler's head reattached to body after accident

In a 'miracle' operation, sixteen-month-old Jackson Taylor from Australia had his head reattached to his neck after a collision.


Daily News reports that Australian toddler, Jaxon Taylor, was travelling with his mum and sister at about 120km/h when their car collided head-on with another vehicle on 15 September.

The impact broke his c1 and c2 vertebrae and his collarbone, causing an "internal decapitation".

'Miracle' surgery

In a “miracle” surgery, the toddler's head was reattached to his neck.

According to Australia’s 7 News, doctors expect 16-month-old Jackson Taylor to make a full recovery following an exhausting six-hour surgery. 

“A lot of children wouldn’t survive that injury in the first place, and if they did and they were resuscitated then they may never move or breathe again,” spinal surgeon Geoff Askin said.

Read: Choose the right surgeon

Rylea Taylor, the boy's mother was driving the family car with Jackson and his 9-year-old sister, Shane, when the accident happened.

Rylea didn't suffer any injuries because of the car’s airbags, and Shane was sustained minor abdominal injuries. Little Jackson, however, was badly hurt.

“The second I pulled him out, I knew that his neck was broken,” Rylea said.

Jaxon was airlifted to a Brisbane hospital, where spinal surgeon Geoff Askin, the “godfather of spinal surgery", diagnosed the internal decapitation. Jackson’s head had been pulled away from his neck, but his spinal cord was intact.

The team used wire and a bone graft to reattach Jackson’s vertebrae. Jaxon will have to wear a "medical halo" for a period of eight weeks until his neck is fully healed. 

Read more:

Spinal cord injury: First aid

Epidural and spinal anaesthesia

Jet crash survivors suffer from spine injuries


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