In a true example of medical ingenuity, surgeons in Australia were able to reattach a toddler’s head after he was internally decapitated in a serious car accident last month. Other than having to spend the next eight weeks in a head brace, 16-month-old Jackson Taylor is expected to make a full recovery and live a normal, healthy life following his life-threatening injury.

On Sept. 15, in New South Wales, Australia, the car carrying Jackson Taylor, his 9-year-old sister Shayne, and his mother Rylea was involved in a serious accident. While traveling at about 110 km/h (68 mph) around a highway bend, the family’s vehicle collided head-on with an oncoming car. According to Jackson’s mother Rylea in her petition against reckless drivers, she could not properly see the oncoming car because three teenage boys had caused the road to be filled with dust by practicing their “doughnuts and burnouts” next to the highway bend. The teenagers in the opposite car and Rylea escaped from the accident with only minor injuries. Although Shayne sustained more serious injuries, it was likely she would pull through. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for young Jackson.

“The second I pulled him out, I knew that his neck was broken,” a tearful Rylea told Channel 7 News Melbourne.

Jackson was quickly airlifted to a hospital in Melbourne, where X-rays revealed his head and neck had been pulled apart. The injury, known as Atlanto-Occipital Dislocation, an internal decapitation, involves the skull being completely dislocated from the spine. The injury is rare and often fatal, although recent medical innovations have significantly improved the chances of survival. Thankfully, Jackson was seen by Dr. Geoff Askin, who is referred to as Australia’s “Godfather” of spinal surgeries, Channel 7 reported. Still, despite his expertise in the area, this was still the worst injury of its kind that Askin had ever encountered.

“A lot of children wouldn’t survive that injury in the first place, and if they did and if they were resuscitated they may never move or breathe again,” Askin told Channel 7. According to the surgeon, Jackson’s recovery was “a miracle.”

The surgery to reattach Jackson’s tiny head to his body took around six hours and involved Askin using a wire and a piece of Jackson’s rib to secure his vertebrae back together. Now, several weeks following the surgery, Jackson is doing well and expected to leave the hospital within the next few days.

Although the family is overjoyed at Jackson’s recovery, his mother has put together a petition calling for stricter punishments for reckless driving in Australia, in an effort to ensure that such a serious accident will not happen again.

“A suspended license and fine changes nothing for the driver, Australia needs to deter others from ruining innocent people's life's, [sic]” Rylea wrote.“If they carry substantial punishments might actually make people think twice before driving recklessly.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the Taylor's car as traveling at 110 mph. It has now been corrected to read that the Taylors were driving at 110 km/h (68 mph).