SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CBS Local) – An Indiana car accident victim has miraculously survived a shocking injury that even his doctors say almost always results in death. After extensive neurosurgery and months of therapy, 22-year-old Brock Meister has recovered from being internally decapitated.
“I feel really lucky. It still goes through my mind everyday how lucky I am,” Meister told Inside Edition.
On Jan. 12, Meister and his friends were in an accident after their vehicle slid on black ice and went into a ditch. “I remember everything. My head went through the window. I had my seatbelt on, but half my body was out the window.” The 22-year-old’s head and a portion of the spine which connects to his skull, had been completely separated from the rest of Meister’s neck.
“It’s an extremely rare event to make it to the hospital after suffering that type of injury,” Dr. Kashif Shaikh of Memorial Hospital explained. The neurologist called his patient’s condition “an almost universally fatal injury.” Shaikh also credited Meister’s quick-thinking friends for keeping him immobile and preventing the 22-year-old from sitting up and fatally damaging his spine.
Dr. Shaikh explained that although the young man’s head was technically separated from the rest of his body, he only suffered minor internal injuries in the crash. Shaikh and his fellow surgeons used several screws and rods to reattach and realign Meister’s bones.
After nearly eight months in a neck brace and physical therapy five days a week, the 22-year-old has reportedly regained 50 percent of the motion in his neck. “I’m just thankful to be here, so that’s all that matters,” Meister said in a statement.
This wasn’t the first time Dr. Shaikh saved the young man’s life. Six years earlier, Shaikh was part of the team that helped Meister survive a brain tumor. “We also just have to think that some people are blessed,” Shaikh said in the Beacon Medical Group release. “It is truly incredible.”