3D printed skull gives 7-year-old boy new lease of life two years after tragic fall crushed 50% of the bones in his head
A seven-year-old boy who lost half his skull in a fall has been given a new lease of life thanks to a 3D printed skull.
Teddy Ward was just five when he slipped and fell down a cliff in Topanga Canyon, near Los Angeles.
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.
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.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3945976/3D-printed-skull-gives-7-year-old-boy-new-lease-life-two-years-tragic-fall-crushed-50-bones-head.html