3D printed skull gives new life to seven-year-old

Teddy Ward lost the left half of his skull falling down a cliff in 2014 and spent two years wearing a helmet to protect his brain

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New lease of life: Teddy Ward, seven, pictured after surgery to receive his 3D printed skull

The impact crushed his head, shattering all of the bone on his left side.

After surgery to replace the skull was unsuccessful, he was sent home with a helmet, ordered to wear it 24 hours a day.

It meant Teddy – described by his mother as a ‘rambunctious kid’ – could not go to friends parties for fear of getting on a bounce house, and his friends parents could not bear the risk of hurting him during a sleepover.

But now he is running around like any of child, thanks to a newly-designed skull that almost perfectly mimics the original.

Teddy Ward
Teddy Ward

It was created by doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles after years of research to find a solution for Teddy.

The final product, surgically implanted earlier this year, was made from a material called PolyEtherEtherKetone (or, PEEK).

Uniquely, it bears all the physical hallmarks of real skull material.

‘This was a remarkable defect,’ his doctor, Dr Mark Urata, told CBS Los Angeles.

‘It was close to 50 percent of his skull that was gone.’

Now that Teddy is back to normal – running around, dabbing, sliding and screaming – his mother Lisa Ward is ecstatic.

‘No parent wanted the responsibly of a child without a skull,’ she told CBS. ‘I put the word out, literally a few days ago, that Teddy is available for sleepovers!’ On a serious note she added: ‘We are the lucky ones. And we know it. And we’re thankful.’

Source: Daily Mail