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Man saved after sides of skull cut off, frozen

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A US man who shattered his skull while riding a longboard had a 95 percent chance of dying until neurosurgeons cut off each side of his swollen head and froze it.

Neurosurgeons said they performed the risky surgery on Kyle Johnson as a last-ditch effort because his brain swelled so uncontrollably after he fell off the board at about 60km/h, Fox News reports.

The surgery — a bilateral decompressive craniectomy — is normally performed on one side of the head.

"[But] Kyle had such a global brain injury that we needed to take both sides of his head off, and you just leave a small strip of bone right down the middle," said Dr Blake Welling from McKay-Dee Hospital in Utah.

Surgeons removed both sides of Mr Johnson's skull, put it together with screws and placed it in a deep freezer to stop the bone becoming brittle.

Mr Johnson was placed in a drug-induced coma for three weeks while doctors waited for the swelling to go down. They then reattached the bone flaps and he woke up after about one week.

"He had a very high mortality rate," Dr Welling said.

"I told him sometimes we're left with really terrible results, but in your case you have a guardian angel, you have something to live for."

Mr Johnson said he was undergoing mind exercises in therapy to assist with memory loss and multi-tasking.

He was not sure if he would ever ride a longboard again.

"But snowboarding for sure," he said.

User comments
longboarding is surfing not driving kyle, he wasnt driving
it happened in the US.... Not NZ... Read the article properly...
why waste new zealand taxpayers money for people like him that doesnt respect the new zealand road rules...he deserved it.
very lucky man, i love longboarding and i loved this story.
Where does he buy hats?
It was Jesus watching over him,
"He had a very high mortality rate"....ummmmm Mortality rate refers to the number of deaths in a population across a period of time. How many times did this guy die!?
crickey dickens...that skull looks like a crushed wombat in Bombay

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