Patient’s Head Reattached After Accident

( – Children tend to suffer all kinds of unintentional injuries as they grow up, ranging from mild scrapes to more serious conditions such as broken bones. Some accidents, however, result in catastrophic conditions that require life-saving measures. A 12-year-old Palestinian boy is lucky to be alive after he suffered one of the rarest injuries.

Suleiman Hassan was out riding his bike in June 2023 when he was struck by a car. The force of the accident caused the boy’s head to internally decapitate from the rest of his body, a condition known as bilateral atlanto-occipital joint dislocation. He was immediately rushed to the trauma unit, where doctors noticed that his ligaments were damaged to the point that his skull detached from the spine’s top vertebrae.

Survival rates for this type of injury are relatively low, and Hassan was given a 50% chance of living. Fortunately, thanks to a team of well-trained surgeons, he not only lived, doctors said his recovery is nothing short of miraculous. Dr. Marc Siegel, an internist at NYU Langone Medical Center, spoke with Fox News Digital and said surgery of this type was only possible because “the major blood vessels were likely not severed.”

According to his surgeon, Dr. Ohad Einav, who spoke with The Times of Israel, the medical professionals “fought for the boy’s life.” The surgery, which Einav says is “very complicated,” took hours to complete, and its success was due to the staff’s knowledge “and the most innovative technology” available. Hassan is currently walking without aid and suffered “no neurological deficits or sensory or motor dysfunction.”

The boy has been released from the hospital with a cervical collar that goes around the neck to keep it stable. His doctors will continue to monitor his recovery.

Internal decapitation is a rare occurrence, making up less than 1% of spinal injuries. It’s often fatal, with more than half of cases resulting in death either during the trauma, transport to medical facilities, surgery, or recovery.

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