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Doctors successfully reattach boy's head after he was decapitated in car accident

Doctors successfully reattach boy's head after he was decapitated in car accident

The 12-year-old was riding his bike when he was hit by a car

Doctors have successfully performed a procedure once thought to be impossible, as they reattached a boy's head after he was decapitated in a car accident.

12-year-old Suleiman Hassan, from the West Bank, Palestine, suffered what is deemed an 'internal decapitation' when he was hit by a car as he rode his bike.

The rare injury - known as internal decapitation - makes up just 1 percent of spinal injuries and sees the skull totally detaching from the spine with the skin still intact.

A sudden impact to the head - like when someone is hit by a car - can cause the ligaments and muscles holding the skull in position to tear.

70 percent die instantly or while en route to hospital.

After the horrifying accident, the young boy was airlifted to Hadassah Ein Kerem’s Trauma Unit in Jerusalem.

Suleiman Hassan managed to survive an internal decapitation.

Hassan was so badly injured, his head was 'almost completely detached from the base of his neck' when he arrived in the emergency room, according to doctors.

He was then rushed immediately into theatre for several hours and underwent painstaking surgery carried out by an intensive care team.

The surgery involved fusing the skull and spinal column using rods, screws, plates and, less commonly, bone grafts.

By coincidence, one of the doctors had performed the surgery on adults during a recent fellowship in Toronto, Canada.

Dr Ohad Einav, one of the miracle-performing surgeons who operated on the patient, told The Times of Israel: "We fought for the boy’s life. The procedure itself is very complicated and took several hours.

"While in the operating room, we used new plates and fixations in the damaged area."

He added: "Our ability to save the child was thanks to our knowledge and the most innovative technology in the operating room."

The injury is fatal 70 percent of the time.
Unsplash/Xiao Cut

After surgery, patients require rehabilitation to regain movement in their neck.

Although he was treated in early June, the Israeli hospital waited a month to announce the results when he was discharged with a cervical splint - but doctors will continue to monitor his recovery.

At present, Suleiman has no neurological deficits or sensory or motor dysfunction and can walk without help.

His father, who never left his bedside during his recovery said: "I will thank you all my life for saving my dear only son. Bless you all.

"Thanks to you, he regained his life even when the odds were low and the danger was obvious. What saved him were professionalism, technology and quick decision-making by the trauma and orthopedics team. All I can say is a big thank you."

Featured Image Credit: Hadassah Medical Center / HRAUN

Topics: Health, Technology, World News