'Miracle Baby:' Doctors Save Toddler Impaled in the Brain by Hook

Jessiah Jackson now perfectly healthy after falling headfirst on a hook.

July 27, 2010— -- The active 17-month-old baby squirming on his grandmother's lap outwardly shows no sign of the horrific brain injury that stunned the doctors charged with saving his life.

Dubbed the "miracle baby," Jessiah Jackson is "in perfect shape," after doctors removed a hook that was embedded two inches into the little boy's brain.

"In this particular case so many things had to be done properly," said Dr. Anand Germanwala, chief of skull-based neurosurgery at North Carolina Children's Hospital, where Jessiah was treated. "And they were."

But the injury was a terrifying one. On July 17, Jessiah was sitting in a chair in his family's backyard when he reached for a sippy cup that had fallen off his chair. The boy tipped backwards, tumbling off the side of the porch.

He landed headfirst on top of a pressure washer and a hook from the machine jammed into his head, coming to a stop just short of the brain's main blood vessel. A puncture to that vessel would have been a fatal injury.

"He was crying and I was trying to make sure he didn't move," said Carlton Redd, an uncle who saw Jessiah fall.

Quick-thinking neighbor Lavern Nobels, a former volunteer firefighter, ran to help and sawed through the metal pipe to free Jessiah from the pressure washer.

"I went down by his shoulder blades and I cut through the bar this way, away from him," she said.

Jessiah was airlifted to a hospital in Wilmington and then to the children's hospital in Chapel Hill. Though doctors are monitoring him carefully for infection, he is not expected to suffer long-term complications.

"Everyone is calling it a miracle because he came through this," his grandfather and legal guardian Joseph Jones told "Good Morning America," as Jessiah sat next to him on his grandmother's lap. "And not only came through it, he's up, alert and back to his old self to where he was before the accident."

"With the help of the good Lord and Dr. G, he's a miracle," Jones said.

Family Looking Forward to Taking 'Miracle Baby' Home

Germanwala said Jessiah was lucky to have so many quick-thinking adults tend to him before emergency workers arrived. His aunt and uncle area both EMTS. Once at the hospital, surgeons discovered the hook had actually made a 90-degree turn in his brain.

Germanwala said he had to use his hands to remove the hook.

"The biggest complexity is that we have all these challenges in a very young baby boy, whose amount of blood volume to begin with is not as high as yours or mine," he said. "So, a few drops of blood here and there make a huge difference."

Now the family is just looking forward to getting him home, where Jones has promised the little boy a four-wheeler despite his grandmother's objections.

"All I can tell you is that the good Lord above was watching over him," neighbor Lavern Nobels said, "so he would survive."