A miracle surgery occurred after a boy was decapitated while riding his bike and was struck by a car. Doctors said his head was completely detached from the base of his neck.
Surgeons successfully saved the life of 12-year-old Suleiman Hassan and reattached his skull to the top vertebrae of his spine.
The accident occurred in Israel and Hassan, who is Palestinian, was rushed to a Jerusalem hospital.
Suleiman Hassan, a Palestinian 12-year-old boy, was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. The ligaments holding the posterior base of his skull were severely damaged, leaving it detached from the top vertebrae of his spine.
In an extremely rare and complex operation, surgeons… pic.twitter.com/yHPLNPAzDB
— Yonatan Gonen (@GonenYonatan) July 7, 2023
After arriving to Hadassah Medical Center, Hassan was immediately put into surgery in the trauma unit.
Hassan was projected to have survival rate of only 50%. Doctors considered the outcome a miracle.
Orthopedic Dr. Ohad Einav said the procedure took several hours.
“Our ability to save the child was thanks to our knowledge and the most innovative technology in the operating room,” Einav said.
The injury is officially called “a bilateral atlanto occipital joint dislocation,” but effectively means a decapitation.
Hassan has been discharged from the hospital. He has a cervical splint and will continue his recovery.
“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 said.
Responding to the doctors, Hassan’s father said, “Bless you all. Thanks to you, he regained his life even when the odds were low and the danger was obvious.”
The boy – Suleiman Hassan’s “routine bike ride almost ended in disaster” when he “was forcefully run over by a wild driver," said the hospital in Jerusalem where the surgery took place.
— ETimes Lifestyle (@ETimesLifestyle) July 15, 2023
“What saved him were professionalism, technology and quick decision-making by the trauma and orthopedics team,” the father added.
Dr. Marc Siegel, Clinical Professor of Medicine and a practicing internist at NYU Langone Medical Center and Fox News contributor, said, “The key is preserving blood flow to the brain.”
“It sounds like — from the story — that the major blood vessels were likely not severed and that this involved an orthopedic rebuilding — probably using rods and reattaching ligaments and possibly bone grafts and implants,” Siegel added.
“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.