Four-year-old boy survives internal decapitation after car accident

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Despite being trapped in the wreckage of the car, Brandy tried to reach her son, who had been strapped into a car seat in the back.

After celebrating the festivities of his birthday in Idaho, four-year-old boy Killian and her mum Brandy drove back to their home in Nevada.

But en route to Nevada, it began to hail, and the icy road caused the mother-son pair to smash head-on into another vehicle on the highway.

Trapped in the wreckage, Brandy tried to reach her son, who had been strapped into a car seat in the back.

“I was like: I have to get to my baby,” Brandy said in a New York Times story. “I looked back and he is just hunched over. He is not crying; he is not awake. I kept talking to him and trying to get him to wake up.”

Four-year-old boy survives internal decapitation after car accident

Photo credit: GoFundMe / Brandy Oliver

Brandy fractured both her legs as well as her left arm, while the other driver walked away without serious injuries.

Killian, however, sustained significant injuries: A right arm fracture, broken ribs, bruised lungs, ruptured spleen, and internal decapitation.

“In an internal decapitation, the head is connected to the spine only by strands of tissue or muscle,” Fox News said. “About 70 percent of those inflicted with the injury die immediately and 15 percent more die at the hospital, according to medical journals.”


Thankfully, an Idaho police officer, together with his wife, was in the area at the time of the accident and quickly sprang into action.

The officer’s wife, Leah Woodward, on his husband’s instruction, held the boy’s head very still for a half hour until emergency responders arrived.

“I’m trying to stay calm, but inside I’m panicking,” Woodward told KBOI. “I’m thinking, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing,’ and it was the worst feeling I’ve ever had to not know how to help.”

Photo credit: GoFundMe / Brandy Oliver

Photo credit: GoFundMe / Brandy Oliver

But her action likely saved Killian’s life.

Although no surgeries were done, the doctors stabilised Killian’s head and neck using several different collars.

“She saved my baby,” Brandy said of Leah Woodward. “She gave him back.”

Now, according to the doctors at St. Luke’s where Killian is being held, the boy is expected to make full recovery despite the seriousness of his injuries. In fact, he is now eating, walking, and even sitting up by himself.

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Written by

James Martinez

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