'Miracle' man survives after having head ripped from spine

'Miracle' man survives after having head ripped from spine

A 29-year-old British man, who had his head ripped from his spine in an horrific car crash, has miraculously survived after a rare operation done by an Indian-origin doctor.

Tony Cowan from Newcastle city met with an accident on September 9 last year, when his car hit a speed-bump, spun out of control and wrapped around a telephone pole.

Cowan's heart stopped and he had to be resuscitated by paramedics at the scene before being rushed to hospital under police escort.

He had sustained a C2 fracture to his neck and complete spinal cord injury - an injury medics have described as almost "unsurvivable", the Newcastle Chronicle reported.
And after scans showed he had no brain activity the decision was to turn his life support machine off.

But after his partner of ten years Karen Dawson, mother Pepsi Cowan, and the rest of his devastated family said their farewells, Tony opened his eyes and showed he was determined to live.

And he has amazed medics who say he is not brain damaged - even though his head was snapped off from his spine and was only being held in place by tissue and muscle.
Consultant neuro-surgeon Anant Kamat reattached Tony's skull to his spine with a metal plate and bolts in a rare operation - and now Tony hopes to soon go home.

Tony's family are now raising money for equipment so he can leave the Hawthorns Neurological Rehabilitation Centre in Peterlee to return to a specially adapted bungalow.

"The consultants had to make the decision to reattach his skull to his spine with a metal plate and bolts, they had never done an operation like it before and we were informed Tony would probably not survive - but again he pulled through," his mother said. 

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