Toddler Survives Decapitation and Miraculously Walks a Month Later


When a violent car accident internally severed toddler Jaxon Taylor’s head from his spine, no one imagined that he would be up and walking less than a month later.

Jaxon’s mother Rylea was driving almost 70 mph (110 km/h) in northern New South Wales, Australia, on September 15th when she struck a vehicle head-on.

16 month-old Jaxon was airlifted to a hospital in Melbourne, where x-rays showed that his C1 and C2 vertebrae were broken and his head was no longer attached to his spine, an injury known as “atlanto-occipital dislocation” (AOD), or “internal decapitation”.

While AOD only accounts for around 1% of all cervical spine injuries, it is responsible for 10% of these injuries that are fatal, and is the cause in as much as 35% of traffic deaths. More than 95% of people who suffer AOD die immediately, and of the 5% who make it to the hospital, half die and the other half are quadriplegics.

Jaxon was flown to Brisbane, where spinal surgeon Dr. Geoff Askin performed a grueling six hour surgery to repair the boy’s vertebrae using tiny pieces of wire and bone from the his ribs.

Screenshot 2015-10-09 20.06.19

Incredibly, Jaxon was up and walking around just a few weeks after the accident, has already been discharged from the hospital, and the halo thoracic brace holding his head in place while the bones grow could be removed as soon as late December.


Jaxon’s story is reminiscent of Micah Andrews, who fully recovered from AOD after a car accident in 2010 and celebrated his seventh birthday with the doctors who saved him this spring.


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