Man who amazed doctors after he cheated death when he lost half his brain after being shot
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A teenager shocked medics after he survived a gunshot injury to his head, in which he lost almost half of his brain.
Ahad Israfil was just 14 in 1987, when he was shot in the head by his employer while he was at work. You can see his story here:
He was rushed to hospital where he underwent a five-hour long operation in a desperate attempt to save his life.
The injury he sustained destroyed most of one of his cerebral hemispheres as well as his skull, and doctors didn’t have much hope for his survival.
Dr Raymond Poelstra, who treated Israfil on the night he was shot, told Guinness Primetime: “That particular injury was probably the worst gunshot injury that I have ever seen. The initial thought was, this young man probably won’t make it, this young man probably won’t survive.”
Although the surgery went well, Israfil wasn’t out of the woods yet and the next few weeks were ‘touch and go’, with Israfil family being told to prepare for the worst.
However, despite the severity of his injuries, Israfil went on to make a somewhat miraculous recovery and was able to regain much of his mental capacity.
Although he had regained much of his cognitive function, Israfil was still left with a large portion of his skull missing for several years, which seriously dented his confidence and left him feeling ‘like a monster’.
In an attempt to give Israfil’s self-esteem back, top reconstructive surgeon Dr James Apesos promised he would get him ‘looking back the way he was before the accident’.
The doctor was able to create a hard silicone implant that fitted into the gap - completely reconstructing the skull.
Speaking on Guinness Primetime about how he felt after seeing himself with his new skull, he said: “I felt great, I was just smiling here to kingdom come.”
Seven years on from his accident, Israfil was accepted to university, where he obtained a degree - he also went on to write a book about his experiences.
Sadly, in 2019 Israfil died at the age of just 47.
His mother Khadijah Israfil said at the time: “He was living with half a skull, half a brain, he just got tired.”
She went on to commend her son for his strength, saying: “I have a picture of him on the fridge, one side of his head is totally gone and he’s smiling.
“He was in pain, but he was very strong. He had a good life.”