Throughout the ages people have survived major incidents that were supposed to take their life but cheat death. Some of them have really gone through extreme accidents; yet come out alive to tell their story. Discover 10 people who have accidentally lost half of their brain and skull but survived.
10. Antonio Lopez Chaj
Antonio Lopez Chaj is a painter that was severely beaten at a bar and left to die. The beating continued until he lost his unconsciousness. Part of his skull was gone by the time he was taken to hospital.
The incident occurred on April 20, 2010. Chaj, his brother and two nephews went to neighborhood bar called Barra Latina. For some unknown reason, a relative got involved in a dispute with the bartender-manager. One thing led to another, the manager started beating Antonio with brass knuckles.
He received so many hits in his head that part of his skull has been irreparably damaged. Mr. Chaj has survived but his brain is so badly affected that he can’t walk, speak, or do most routine things. He has to be assisted by family members and nursing care.
The case was gone to court, and the jury decided on his favor. Antonio has been awarded $58-million. As for now, he is disabled but wealthy.
9. Alan Hind
While working on a job in February 2008 for which he has no training, Alan Hind, 28-year-old, fell from 25-ft from a building at Watt’s Yard. He has survived the horrific injury but lost almost half his head.
The incident happens while Hind was helping to tear down a building without any safety training and equipment. He fell on his head, which causes massive head injuries: extensive skull fractures, irreparable brain damage, broken jaw. He also suffers from optic nerve which left him one eye blind.
The damages are not over yet. Alan also suffers from severe kidney damage. In addition, he has a permanent hearing loss on one side. In total, he underwent 3 major surgical procedures during which parts of his brain were removed.
But he has received financial compensation from the company. The trial was done at Carlisle Crown Court. The jury decided in favor of Mr. Hind. The supervisor, Eric Murray who allowed him to work on the roof of the building without safety equipment and training, was found guilty.
8. Carlos ‘Halfy’ Rodriguez
Carlos Rodriguez, usernamed ‘Halfy’, is a young man living in Miami, Florida, who has lost about fifty percent of his brain and skull in a dramatic accident during which he flied through his car’s windscreen and landed on his head.
The accident destroyed the majority of his cerebral hemispheres. To save his life, surgeons cut away large amounts of flesh as well as a portion of his skull to prevent inflammation and fatal infection. Indeed, Carlos has survived the tragic event and been living a normal life ever since.
The survivor was introduced for the first time by The Miami New Times, in its “Mugshots Friday” series, in which Rodriguez himself explains the traumatic injury to the public.
As we all know, drinking or doing drugs while driving is a recipe for disaster. The accident happened while Carlos was driving under the influence. Ironically, despite this tragic event, it appears he still continues doing drugs.
7. Jamie Hilton
Jamie Hilton is a former Idaho beauty queen and a mother of three who cheated death after she fell and hit her head while on a trip with her husband to Hells Canyon National Recreation Park, Idaho.
She did not die but remained unconscious for days. Surgeons performed a long surgical procedure in order to drain her brain, which was swelling and severely bleeding. Her condition was so bad that she was given about 50 percent chance of survival.
After the surgeons removed some of her brain and skull to ease the swelling they put the removed part inside her stomach to keep it sterile and nourished. Amazingly, Jamie has not only survived the accident but also the surgery without any disability. The beauty queen is still beautiful and enjoying life.
As a gratitude to her supporters and the medical professionals, she stated the following: “My heart feels like it could explode with GRATITUDE…I can read, I can write, I can walk, I can dance. I can carry my kids. I’m just, normal!”
6. Ben Maycock
Ben Maycock is a teenager who was viciously attacked by a group of punks who hit him several times with a hammer. The attack caused his brain to become swelling, leading health professionals to remove part of his skull to relieve the cerebral inflammation.
Ben was 21 years old when he became victim of the horrific “unprovoked attack”. His condition was so bad that his doctor did not give him much chance to survive. In fact, doctors and family members thought he would die.
But some very experienced surgeons at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre surgically removed parts of the brain and skull that were damaged to reduce the risk of swelling and infection. Luckily, the surgical procedure was successful; Ben has survived.
To help him regain his normal physical ability, which was left impaired since the attack, he received 3 sessions of physiotherapy per week. He is also required to take some pills daily to help control his fits and spasms – a lasting side effect of the attack.
5. Bobby Valentine
Robby Valentine was in county jail. For months he had experienced serious head ache due to a chronic sinus infection. Although his kept complaining he does not feel well, he was given just ibuprofen, not proper medical care.
The untreated sinus infection turned into serious complications, spreading to his brain. After being hospitalized in Norman, Oklahoma, the health care professionals surgically removed half of his skull and brain to stop the life-threatening infection.
The good news the surgical procedure indeed saves Robby’s life. But now “he can’t talk, he can’t walk. He can’t tell you how he feels”. His mother, Sandy Valentine, stated “Our lives have changed because one person couldn’t take the time to get him medication.”
Now the mother is filing a lawsuit against the county and the jail claiming her son, Robby Valentine, did not receive proper medical treatment. The Family attorney said: “We put people in jail or prison and we just forget about them. We don’t care what happens to them. People don’t give a damn.”
4. Tim Barter
Tim Barter, 32, from Brixton, has lost part of his skull following a fall from a drainpipe. He suffered from a brain haemorrhage (a form of stroke) and fell into a coma for 10 days during which medical professionals surgically removed part of his skull.
Mr. Barter is a professional visual effects supervisor who usually worked on the BBC’s “Doctor Who”. But in June 2009, the unexpected happened while he was climbing up to an upstairs window. The drainpipe collapsed beneath him; as result he fell flat on the floor.
One of the neighbors found Tim unconscious and immediately took him to the major trauma centre at King’s College Hospital. Imaging techniques revealed he had serious bleeding and swelling on his brain. Thanks to advanced therapeutic procedures he has survived.
The specialists of the hospital used Tim body fat to reshape his head, a procedure that was done for the first time in Britain. When questioned about the incident, Barter stated: “I love the falling… It’s just the split second at the end that’s an occasional problem.”
3. Steven Cloak
Steven Cloak is a young man who was brutally attacked in Bideford, Devon (south-west England) by a drunken teenager for no good reason. The event causes him to lose his forehead, which was surgically removed.
On Saturday 27th February 2010 while Steven walking home he was attacked by a teenager named Jack Hobbs who was under the influence. To justify his attack, Jack claimed “Cloack looked at him ‘in the wrong way’. He fought back by hitting him.”
The Steven was immediately taken to hospital to receive proper medical care. Doctors performed surgery on him and removed part of his skull and brain in order to stop bleeding and prevent fetal infection. Later a cosmetic surgery was done to insert a titanium plate into his head to make it whole.
The case went to court and the jury found Jack Hobbs guilty. He is now facing up to 10 years in prison for inflicting the savage beating.
2. Steve Gater
Steve Gater is a young man, forklift driver, who was ambushed and viciously attacked by a couple teenagers while he was returning home from work. The attack left him with broken skull and severe brain damage.
It was an evening of January 15 of 2009; two young men came to Steve and started harshly yelling at him. He talked back which led the teenagers to violently hit him repeatedly. Gater was rushed to a nearby hospital; however, he remained in a coma for two weeks with little chance to wake up again.
While in coma, part of his skull where the brain was severely injured was surgically removed. Steve’s condition was so grave that he was given just fifteen percent chance to live. Amazingly, he has survived the injuries and the surgery.
In addition to the therapeutic surgery, Mr Gater had to undergo a complex seven-hour surgical intervention at Queen’s Hospital in order for the surgeons to insert a titanium plate at the front of his head to reshape it.
1. Reece Roberts
Reece Roberts, 27, ended up losing half of his skull and paralyzed after being punched by Thomas Field for no valid reason. Reece received the punch while he stood outside a bar in Blackpool enjoying a cigarette.
He fell flat on the floor with a severe brain damage, which causes life-threatening injuries. He was rushed to a hospital where surgeons had to remove part of his skull in order to stop his brain from swelling. The surgical procedure has indeed saved his life but he is now disabled.
Reece is now unable to walk and talk. He has to be fed through a tube in his nose. In addition, he has permanently lost major parts of his skull and brain. In a heartbreaking statement, his mom said: “My son has done nothing wrong in his life and has been through hell and back and still is going through it…”
Ironically, Thomas Field, the punk who drastically changes Reece’s life, received only 20 months of prison. The initial sentence was up to five years, but his prison term was reduced for “showing remorse for the crime.”