A toddler in Australia is smiling and learning to walk again after surgeons reattached his spine to his head following a high-speed car accident.
The 16-month-old boy, Jaxon Taylor, was riding in a car with his mother and 9-year-old sister last month when they collided head-on with another car at about 70 mph in northern New South Wales. The force of the impact tore apart Jaxon's upper vertebrae, leaving his head internally severed.
"The second I pulled him out, I knew that he — I knew that his neck was broken," Jaxon Taylor's mother, Rylea Taylor, told 7 News Melbourne.
Jaxon was airlifted to a hospital in Brisbane, and ended up in the care of spinal surgeon Geoff Askin.
"A lot of children wouldn't survive that injury in the first place," Askin said. "And if they did and they were resuscitated they may never move or breathe again."
In a six-hour operation, surgeons used a fragment of one of Jaxon's ribs to graft the severed vertebrae together, 7 News Melbourne reported.
He will have to wear a neck brace for a couple months to allow the tissues and nerves connecting his head to his spine to heal, according to the channel.
But the boy seems to be making a remarkable recovery, kicking a balloon, laughing and hugging his parents.
"It is a miracle," Rylea Taylor said.