Israeli surgeons re-attach boy’s head after decapitation in accident

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Surgeons in Isreal have re-attached the decapitated head of Suleiman Hassan, a 12-year-old boy from Palestine.

The boy was hit by a car while riding his bicycle.

According to Times of Isreal, he was thereafter airlifted to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem where it was determined that the ligaments holding the posterior base of his skull were severely damaged.

This left his skull detached from the top vertebrae of his spine but with his skin intact. This is commonly known as internal or orthopedic decapitation.

Ohad Einav, the orthopedic specialist who operated on the patient alongside Ziv Asa, said the procedure, which took place in June, was very complicated and took several hours.

He added that the surgeons used new fixations in the damaged area and fought to save the boy’s life.

“Our ability to save the child was thanks to our knowledge and the most innovative technology in the operating room,” he said.

 “The fact that such a child has no neurological deficits or sensory or motor dysfunction, and that he is functioning normally and walking without an aid after such a long process, is no small thing.”

Einav had returned to Israel a year ago after a fellowship at trauma centers in Toronto.

The doctor said performing this surgery on adults as part of his training in Toronto, prepared him for the operation on young Hassan.

“This is not a common surgery at all, and especially not on children and teens. A surgeon needs knowledge and experience to do this,” he said.

Hassan has now been discharged with a cervical splint but will continue to be monitored by the hospital.

The boy’s father, who hospital staff said did not leave his son’s bedside during his recovery from surgery, thanked the doctors for saving his life.

“Thanks to you, he regained his life even when the odds were low and the danger was obvious,” he said.

“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.”

 

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