BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A 4-year-old boy who doctors say suffered what’s known as an internal decapitation in a car crash in southwestern Idaho is expected to make a full recovery thanks to a good Samaritan who held his head steady.
Killian Gonzalez and his mom, Brandy Gonzalez, were heading home to Nevada after celebrating Killian’s fourth birthday on May 22. Authorities said their car hit ice on State Highway 51, skidded out of control and crashed head-on into another car.
Leah Woodward and her husband, a police officer in Nampa in southwest Idaho, stopped to help. Woodward, with some guidance from her husband, held the child steady for more than half an hour until emergency responders arrived.
“I’m trying to stay calm but inside I’m panicking,” Woodward told KBOI-TV. “I’m thinking I don’t know what I’m doing, and it was the worst feeling I’ve ever had to not know how to help.”
Killian is recovering at a children’s hospital in Boise from the rare condition in which his skull was separated from his spine. He also suffered a broken arm, ribs and a ruptured spleen.
“She saved my baby, she gave him back,” said Brandy Gonzalez, who broke an arm, ankle and leg, but has recovered enough to leave the hospital. “There’s a reason we’re here and we’re just going to try every day to figure out what that reason is.”
She said her son hasn’t needed surgery and is eating, walking and sitting up by himself.
“He’s shocked everyone there,” Gonzalez said. “They keep telling me he’s the talk of the hospital.”