NC toddler survives potentially devastating injury

The X-ray image of a metal rod in 17-month-old Jessiah Jackson's brain. (UNC Hospitals)

July 26, 2010 3:28:12 PM PDT
Jessiah Jackson is a typical bright eyed and alert toddler.

But a week ago, his childlike curiosity nearly cost him his life.

"He was just sitting in the chair just laughing and playing," the boy's uncle Carlton Redd said. "The next thing I know he stood up in it and before I could react, his chair was going backward."

When 17-month-old fell on top of a pressure washer, an L-shaped hook lodged two to three inches inside his brain.

Jessiah's wound was near the largest blood vessel in the brain.

It was one of the worst impalements his surgeon had ever seen and UNC Neurosurgeon Dr. Anand Germanwala credits the medical care Jessiah received before he arrived at UNC Hospitals.

Redd and his wife have EMT training and were able to react quickly after the incident happened. Their neighbor, who is a rescue squad volunteer, happened to have a saw capable of cutting the power washer.

"Everyone worked together," said the boy's grandfather, Joseph Jones. "No one gave up hope that's God working for you.

Despite the circumstances, Jessiah still faced a risky surgery. Even Dr. Germanwala admitted there was a chance the boy would not survive.

"Losing one or two ounces of blood in an adult is often no problem," Dr. Germanwala said. "In a 17-month-old, that makes a huge difference."

However a week later, Jessiah will go home on Tuesday.

"A lot of people say it's a miracle," Jones said. "Yes he is, but I like to say he's a blessed baby."

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