Heath Baker, from Cullman County, Alabama is back home after spending less than two weeks in the hospital. Baker was discharged from UAB Hospital, have made incredible recovery from the injuries he sustained in the severe auto crash.
The strong willed ‘miraculous’ survivor stands unaided, in less than two weeks after suffering internal decapitation
On April 21, 2017 Baker’s truck somersaulted as he was on his way to work, early in the morning
The 30-year-old Cullman County resident suffered horrific injuries – breaking 13 ribs, his pelvis and a hip joint, fracturing his spine, rupturing spleen and collapsing a lung.
Baker is described as a walking miracle because the internal decapitation alone, a condition where the skull is severed from the spinal column without breaking the skin, should have killed him.
The father-of-two was on his way to work early in the morning on April 21, when his truck ran off County Road 222 shortly before 5:30 a.m. and flipped several times, throwing him from the vehicle, Alabama State Troopers said.
He was flown to UAB Hospital where he was taken into emergency surgery to remove his spleen and then reattached his skull to his spine, and he’s been medically sedated since, Barnett said.
Baker’s truck flipped over twice leaving him with what would be considered terminal injuries
The doctors at UAB hospital reattached his head, removed the spleen and surgically repaired broken bones and damaged organs
Records indicate that Seventy percent of people who suffer this type of injury die immediately, and only about 15 percent of the survivors, recover
make it out of the emergency room and even less survive the hospital stay to go home. While it’s still very early in Baker’s recovery, his will to live seems apparent.
Dr. Sakthivel Rajaram, the UAB surgeon who operated on Baker says he’s shocked to see such a speedy recovery.
Baker on his part, attributes his record recovery pace to his wife’s presence throughout his short recovery.
“She’s my angel. I can remember times of me just coming through it and just seeing her face and just knowing that she was there. I think that’s one thing that helped me pull through,” Baker said.
Heath Baker attributes his speedy recovery to reoccurring flashing images of his wife while he was hanging on to life
Heath Baker and wife whom he calls ‘my angel’
It was the flashes of his wife’s image between the dark periods that brought him through, he said.
“They told my wife that more than likely I’m not going to make it and if I do make it, you know I could have no brain you know, I could be brain-dead or I could be paralyzed from the neck down,” Baker said.
But he beat the odds and finally met the man who put him back together for the first time.
Baker said, “It’s very nice to meet you.”
Dr. Sakthivel Rajaram with the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery said, “Ya I’m so happy.”
Doctor Rajaram who reattached Bakers head to his neck says he’s surprised to see the recovery going so well.
“I’d say I’ve probably never seen a patient recover this quick considering the amount of injuries he had,” Dr. Rajaram said.
Heath Baker and Dr. Sakthivel Rajaram are full of cheer as the patient leaves UAB hospital
Heath Baker on his way home to continue with his convalescence
And for an injury with such a high mortality rate, the fact that Baker is even able to get around is incredible.
“You can imagine only thirty patients survive out of the hundred,” Dr. Rajaram said.
Baker said all he needed was a chance, no matter how small it was.
“I just need a half a chance and I think I can do whatever it takes. My faith is pretty strong, I just need half a chance and I’m a firm believer that if it’s not my time, it ain’t my time,” Baker said.
The family set up a gofundme page to help offset the medical bills.