Boy’s Head Reattached After Car Accident in ‘Medical Miracle’

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A Jerusalem hospital reported this week that Israeli surgeons performed a miraculous surgery to reattach a boy’s skull after he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle.

Suleiman Hassan, a 12-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank, suffered what is known as an internal decapitation, with his skull detached from the top vertebrae of his spine — officially known as a bilateral atlanto occipital joint dislocation, according to The Times of Israel.

Hassan, who was on his bike at the time, was hit by a car. The boy was immediately taken to Hadassah Medical Center’s trauma unit and put under anesthesia. Doctors said that his head had “almost completely separated from the base of his neck.”

The orthopedic surgeon who performed the surgery, Dr. OhadEinav, stated that the procedure took several hours and the doctors had to “use new plates and fixations” in the damaged area.

Einav added that the team “fought to save the boy’s lives” and credited their knowledge of the latest technology used in the operating rooms.

According to i24 News, Einav’s team and Hassan have a projected survival of 50%. His recovery is nothing less than a miracle.

The doctors announced the results a month after the operation, which took place in June. Hassan was recently discharged from the hospital with a cervical brace and his recovery will be monitored.

Einav stated that it was no small feat that the child had no neurological deficits, or sensory, or motor disorders and that he could walk without assistance after a long and difficult process.

TPS, an Israeli news agency, reported that Hassan’s father did nothing but thank the medical staff for their care.

The father said, “Blessings to you all.” “Thank you, he recovered his life when the odds were slim and danger was evident.”

The father told TPS that the team’s professionalism, technology, and quick decisions saved his son.

Dr. Marc Siegel is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone and an internist. He said that this “amazing surgery” was only possible with intact major blood vessels.

Siegel explained that the key to preserving brain blood flow is to maintain it. It sounds as if the major blood vessels weren’t severed, and that an orthopedic reconstruction was required — likely using rods to reattach ligaments and possible bone grafts or implants.

Einav said that while the surgery was “extremely uncommon,” children’s heads are larger than adults, making them “more vulnerable.”

“This isn’t a surgery that you see done very often, especially on children or teens. “A surgeon must have knowledge and experience in order to perform this surgery,” he stated.