A toddler in Australia is smiling and learning to walk again after surgeons reattached his head to his spine following a high-speed car accident.
The 16-month-old boy, 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 about 70 mph in northern New South Wales. The force of the impact tore apart Jaxon's upper vertebrae, leaving his head internally severed.
"The second I pulled him out, I knew that he — I knew that his neck was broken," Jaxon Taylor's mother, Rylea Taylor, told 7 News Melbourne.
Jaxon was airlifted to a hospital in Brisbane, and ended up in the care of brilliant, spinal surgeon Geoff Askin.
"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."
Although Jaxon managed to survive, the odds were stacked against his being able to move or breathe on his own.
But in a six-hour operation, which is being hailed as a medical miracle, surgeons in Brisbane used a piece of one of Jaxon's ribs to graft the severed vertebrae together.
He will have to wear a neck brace for a couple months to allow the tissues and nerves connecting his head to his spine to heal, according to the channel.
But the boy seems to be making a remarkable recovery, kicking a balloon, laughing and hugging his parents.
"It is a miracle," Rylea Taylor said.
This latest story comes soon after the controversial Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, announced plans to conduct the world’s first full human head transplant.According to Canavero, a Russian man, Valey Spiridonov, 30, a computer scientist from Vladimir, has volunteered as the subject of the pioneering surgical operation.
Spiridonov suffers a condition called Werdnig-Hoffman disease. No cure exists for the ailment and sufferers rarely live longer than 20 years.
Canavero said he hopes to transplant Spiridonov’s head to the body of a brain-dead but healthy donor.
The 36-hour surgery will involve a medical team of about 150 doctors and nurses.
In a paper first published in February 2015, titled “The ‘Gemini’ spinal cord fusion protocol: Reloaded,” Canavero explained that the surgery, termed Cephalosomatic anastomosis, will involve use of an ultra-sharp scalpel to severe the head of the patient after it has been cooled to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The severed head would then be attached to a new body using a special type of glue called polyethylene glycol.
Although Canavero appears confident about the success of the radical surgery, some experts have expressed skepticism, saying that the body would likely reject its new head.
This is a little too much for me to wrap my head around (pun intended). Get well soon Jaxon and show the world what a miracle you are.