Israeli doctors have reattached a 12-year-old boy’s head to his neck after he suffered an extremely rare “internal decapitation” injury in a car accident.
Palestinian Suleiman Hassan was airlifted to an Israeli hospital from the West Bank after being hit by a car on his bicycle.
Internal decapitation, which is usually fatal, occurs when the ligaments connecting the patient’s spine and skull are severed and the skin remains intact.
Dr. Ohad Einav, the orthopaedic specialist who operated on Suleiman, told The Times of Israel: “We fought for the boy’s life…the procedure itself is very complicated and took several hours.
internal decapitation tends to occur more often in children due to them having larger heads in relation to their bodies at early stages of development
“While in the operating room, we used new plates and fixations in the damaged area. Our ability to save the child was thanks to our knowledge and the most innovative technology in the operating room.”
Incredibly, the child is expected to make a full recovery after the surgery and will be able to walk again.
“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,” said Dr. Einav.
Such operations are very rare, and Dr. Einav said he was only one of a handful of surgeons in Israel who had the right skills to carry it out.
I will thank you all my life for saving my dear only son. Bless you all. All I can say is a big thank you -Suleiman’s dad
He was able to successfully perform the operation as he had practice from his previous surgical role in Toronto, Canada.
He explained that internal decapitation tends to occur more often in children due to them having larger heads in relation to their bodies at early stages of development.
According to The Times of Israel, Suleiman’s father, who was not named, has effusively thanked hospital staff.
“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 orthopaedics team. All I can say is a big thank you,” the father said.
In November 2022, Spanish doctors carried out a complex procedure to fix an internal decapitation suffered by Rachel Pighills, a UK citizen, allowing her to learn to walk again.