Surgeons removed the rear quarter of Jamie Hilton’s skull and placed in her abdomen so that the bone would remain sterile and nourished as her brain swelling subsided.
When the mother-of-three and former Mrs. Idaho woke up from the operation she found the large, hard lump in her stomach and a portion of her head missing.
The skull remained in her abdomen for 42 days until it was re-attached in a successful operation and now, three months after her near death experience the 36-year-old has returned home.
‘I can snuggle my kids, kiss my husband, hang out with my mom, and LIVE. 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!’
Jamie’s brush with death came after she joined her husband Nick and brother-in-law Greg on a salmon fishing trip to Hell’s Canyon in Idaho in June.
As Jamie tried to reel in her first fish she lost her footing and fell 12ft on to a boulder. Her husband scrambled down to his wife and found her unconscious, without a pulse and not breathing.
Safe: The skull was put in her stomach to keep the bone nourished for after the brain swelling went down
In hospital: After 42 days, the piece of skull was then put back into Jamie’s head in a successful operationWhen Nick lifted her, she began breathing again and nearby Forest Ranger called for emergency services. Jamie was airlifted to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise where doctors found her brain had swollen.
With her family warned that the next 72 hours would decide if she lived or died, they took the decision to remove a quarter of her skull until the brain swelling went down. The skull portion remained in her abdomen for 42 days until it was removed and placed back on her head.
As she came round from the operation she called the doctor over to her and said: ‘Thank you for what you have done. You have saved my life!’
On her blog site where her recovery was detailed Jamie, from Boise, Idaho, spoke about the moment her skull was replaced.
On the mend: Hilton, 36, has been blogging about her progress and has returned to work
‘Your prayers are FELT and APPRECIATED! Never in my life have I FELT the prayers and faith of others in my behalf. What a marvelous experience. THANK YOU!’
Jamie posted a photo of the skull in her abdomen on her blog page entitled ‘Miracles believe in them’ as well as a photo showing a scar running the length of her head.
Since recovering she has returned to work in the family taxi business as she attempts to clear a six figure medical bill for her life saving surgery.