10 Most Fascinating Medical Miracles
1Window washer in coma after falling 47 Stories woke up on Christmas day
2Teenage model had her body held together by 11 rods
Surgeons saved her life after her car left the M5 and crashed into a ditch as she travelled towards her home town of Weymouth, Dorset. She snapped her back, punctured both lungs and broke her neck, her pelvis, her left leg and several ribs. Surgeons at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, Somerset, said that without surgery to help the bones to fuse, her spinal injuries in particular could deteriorate, risking death.
Doctors inserted a rod from her hip to her knee in her left leg the day after she was admitted to hospital. It was secured inside with four titanium pins. The most risky operation came a week later. They sliced open her back and inserted six more horizontal rods up the length of her back to support her spine. A week after that, they inserted a titanium screw to the top of her spine to support the break in her fragile neck. Only a day after the last operation she was able to take her first steps.
Astonishingly, five months on from the crash, the teenager has recovered to the point where she no longer even needs painkillers.
3Teen lived 118 days without heart
4Blind man got his sight back after having a tooth implanted into his eye
He lost his sight after a tub of white hot aluminium exploded in his face at work in a scrapyard. He suffered 37 per cent burns and had to wear a special body stocking for 23 hours a day. He also had his left eye removed. But surgeons were able to save the right eye, even though he was unable to see through it. At first specialists in Nottingham tried to save his sight using stem cells from a donor but the attempt failed.
It was only when a revolutionary new operation was pioneered at the Sussex Eye Clinic in Brighton that he was given a chance to have his sight back. During the procedure, a minute section of a patient's tooth is removed, reshaped and chiselled through to grip the man-made lens which is then placed in its core. It is implanted under an eyelid where it becomes covered in tissue.
The process requires a living tooth as an implant because doctors suggest there are chances the eye would reject a plastic equivalent. So a canine - which is the best option due to its shape and size - was taken out of Mr Jones' mouth. A patch of skin is then taken from the inside of the cheek and placed in the eye for two months, where it gradually acquires its own blood supply. The tooth segment is finally transplanted into the eye socket. The flap of grafted skin is then partially lifted from the eye and placed over its new sturdy base.
Mr Jones, from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was able to see for the first time his wife Gill, 50, whom he had married four years ago.
5Mother who had to chose to save one twin got to keep both after disconnecting blood vessels
Shannon and Mike were struggling with the suggestion to terminate the weaker baby when their physician at Swedish, Dr. Kent Heyborne, approached them with another option. He'd made contact with Drs. Robert Bell and Michael Belfort of St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Utah surgeons teamed with those at Swedish to perform laser surgery in the womb to cauterize the blood vessels that were connecting, and slowly killing, the twins.
Shannon says she remembers holding her breath as a nurse used an ultrasound to listen for heartbeats after the surgery. One, then another. Both girls had made it. Reese and McKenna Gimbel were born at Swedish two months later.
6Boy recovered after orthopedic decapitation
The tissue may have been destroyed, but the faith of Jordan's family was intact. Word about what happened to Jordan spread to the family's church and others churches across the country. Jordan's mother says at one time she knew of at least 20 churches that were praying for her son.
Dr. Roberts reconnected Jordan's head to his neck with a metal plate, screws and titanium rods. 3 months after the accident, Jordan left the hospital and is now back at school.
7Wife shot by husband got a new face
Culp's expressions are still a bit wooden, but she can talk, smile, smell and taste her food again. Her speech is at times a little tough to understand. Her face is bloated and squarish, and her skin droops in big folds that doctors plan to pare away as her circulation improves and her nerves grow, animating her new muscles. Culp's husband, Thomas, shot her in 2004 then turned the gun on himself. He went to prison for seven years. His wife was left clinging to life. The blast shattered her nose, cheeks, the roof of her mouth and an eye. Hundreds of fragments of shotgun pellet and bone splinters were embedded in her face. She needed a tube into her windpipe to breathe. Only her upper eyelids, forehead, lower lip and chin were left.
She endured 30 operations. Doctors took parts of her ribs to make cheekbones and fashioned an upper jaw from one of her leg bones. She had countless skin grafts from her thighs. Still, she was left unable to eat solid food, breathe on her own, or smell. Then, in a 22-hour operation, Dr. Maria Siemionow led a team of doctors who replaced 80 percent of Culp's face with bone, muscles, nerves, skin and blood vessels from another woman who had just died. It was the fourth face transplant in the world.
No information has been released about the donor or how she died, but her family members were moved when they saw before-and-after pictures of Culp.
8Surfer mauled by a shark had his hanging hand reattached
9Paraplegic man suffered a spider bite and started walking again
In therapy, a nurse noticed a spasm in one of Blancarte's legs and run some tests. Five days later David was walking again.
10Near-vegetative man was back to life after stimulation electrodes were implanted into his skull
Since his skull was implanted with electrodes to stimulate a deep-lying and undamaged part of his brain, he has improved so dramatically that he can now feed himself, brush his hair and recognize and talk to his parents and doctors. The transformation achieved by the deep brain stimulation (DBS) technique, which is already used to treat Parkinson's disease and some neurological disorder (like Tourrett's Syndrome), has raised hopes that it could offer a way back to consciousness for many people with similarly serious brain damage. Thanks, William!
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