- (Photo: jamielambhilton.blogspot.com)
It's a rare story of survival that has left the world shocked. Jamie Hilton, 36, was fishing when she hit her head and had to have part of her skull removed, and doctors chose a most unusual place to keep the skull until it was ready to be reattached to her head.
"In a remarkable surgery, doctors removed 25 percent of Hilton's skull and stored it under the skin in her abdomen until her brain healed. Within her own body, the bone would remain sterile and nourished until it could be safely reattached," the Deseret News reported.
Hilton was fishing when she fell approximately 12 feet, hitting her head on the way down. She was immediately rushed to the hospital, where doctors learned that her brain was beginning to swell and pressure needed to be relieved. They took a chunk out of her skull and implanted it into her abdomen for safekeeping.
Once doctors were able to relieve the swelling on Hilton's brain, they performed another surgery and reattached the missing piece of skull to her head. Throughout the ordeal, Hilton's husband Nick and brother-in-law kept a blog updating friends and family on her condition.
"The doctor said that the bone looked great and was in the right condition. It was put back in place again using small circular patches of titanium, as thin as paper, and some very small titanium screws," Hilton's family posted on her blog.
Hilton's recovery has been remarkable, and she is now able to drive and do everyday household chores. Yet the family has been saddled with a huge medical debt to pay, and the Hiltons have no insurance. A donation site has been established at youcaring.com, with the goal of raising $125,000.
Jamie, however, is celebrating the mere fact that she is alive.
"NOTHING in this world really matters to me today other than I AM HERE. I am on this GLORIOUS earth with my unbelievable family. I can snuggle my kids, kiss my husband, hang out with my mom, and LIVE," she posted on her blog.
"My heart feels like it could explode with GRATITUDE. My cup is running over with joy and happiness. Is everything in my life perfect? No. But today I AM ALIVE!" she added.