Thursday, May 17, 2007

Medical Miracle

A Nebraska woman suffered a rare "internal decapitation" where the skull is separated from the vertebra in her neck. Apparently it doesn't happen very ofen and few people surive. She did though and appears to be making a recovery.
Her injuries left Malloy with nerve damage that made her eyes cross, and she has difficulty swallowing. She was not paralyzed. She told her story to Denver station KMGH-TV.

Dr. Gary Ghiselli, an orthopedic spine surgeon at the Denver Spine Center, said he and his colleagues had never seen such an injury in someone still living.

“I’ve seen it once before,” Ghiselli said, “and, unfortunately, the patient didn’t make it.”

Even after the crash, physicians in Nebraska, where Malloy lives, told relatives they should prepare to say their goodbyes.

Ghiselli said a will to survive kept Malloy, 30, alive long enough for surgeons to insert screws in her head and neck and attach a halo to minimize movement — no easy task.

“My skull slipped off my neck about five times,” Malloy said. “Every time they tried to screw this to my head, I would slip.”

Doctors eventually stabilized her head and strengthened her neck. The halo has since been removed.

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