Indiana man survives internal decapitation years after beating brain cancer: ‘Our boy is a miracle’


An Indiana man who beat brain most cancers as a teen has as soon as once more “defied the odds” after surviving a practically deadly automotive crash in January that left him internally decapitated.

“I have fought for my life this time around, and some days I feel like I still am. God has put me through some crazy stuff, and he’s really testing me,” Brock Meister, of Plymouth, stated in a assertion launched by Beacon Health System.

“I’m just thankful to be here, so that’s all that matters,” the 22-year-old added.

Brock Meister4

Meister wore a neck brace till this spring.

 (Beacon Health System )

On January 12, Meister was having dinner with some associates in Plymouth earlier than heading to Lake of the Woods, close to Bremen, the place he and a few associates have been planning to stick with his grandparents for a night time.

Just minutes earlier than arriving, the automotive hit a patch of black ice, inflicting the automobile to tip over and roll on the passenger facet the place Meister was seated.


Meister’s head smashed into the window, shattering it, and in the end separating his cranium from his backbone within the course of.

“Half my body was out the window,” he recalled.

The driver was capable of pull Meister again in because the truck flipped upright and slowly rolled to a cease.

Meister’s buddy, Ryan Topper, who was driving forward of the 2, knew one thing was incorrect when he may now not see the truck’s headlights behind him. He whipped his automotive round, arriving simply moments later.

Brock Meister3

Surgeons made a lengthy incision on the again of his neck, utilizing a cranium plate and spinal screws and rods to right the fracture.

 (Beacon Health System)

“I turned around and from the angle that I drove up on it, it didn’t look like anything had happened at all,” Topper stated.

But as he bought nearer, he noticed Meister, whose face was coated in blood.

“[He] wasn’t saying much,” Topper recalled.


“Brock kept trying to get up and the only words he was saying were ‘my neck’ and ‘ambulance.’ I knew that he was in some serious pain and that if it was his neck, I couldn’t let him get up and move,” Topper, who had already known as emergency officers at this level, stated.

Meister was taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, the place docs stabilized him and took X-rays. Images revealed he had suffered a “traumatic atlanto-occipital dislocation,” basically a “full separation of the cranium from the backbone or internal decapitation,” in response to the assertion.

internal decap

The X-ray of Meister’s neck.

 (Beacon Health System)

Surviving this type of injury is rare: the mortality charge for individuals who endure internal decapitation is excessive. Aside from the bodily separation of cranium and backbone, this damage will also be deadly as a result of “the blood vessels supplying the brain and the spinal cord itself are commonly injured … [causing] significant neurological deficits and often prove fatal,” in response to the Beacon Health System.

Meister was simply the second affected person in Memorial Hospital’s historical past to reach alive with this specific damage.

“He’s here and he’s alive, and that in itself is a complete miracle,” Meister’s mom, Jenna, recalled telling household and associates on the hospital.

At 2 a.m. that very same night time, Dr. Kashif Shaikh, a Beacon Medical Group neurosurgeon, was paged. He appeared on the X-rays at dwelling earlier than heading to the hospital to deal with Meister.  

“I had to check twice to make sure I was looking at the right patient’s picture – it’s such an uncommon injury, and an even less common injury to survive,” he advised the hospital.

Later, Meister underwent surgical procedure to re-align his cranium and backbone.

brock hospital

Meister (left) is additionally a brain most cancers survivor.

 (Beacon Health System)

His surgeons made a lengthy incision on the again of his neck, utilizing a cranium plate and spinal screws and rods to right the fracture.


Interestingly, Shaikh, who carried out the surgical procedure, additionally helped to deal with Meister when a malignant brain tumor — a grade III germinoma — was discovered on the heart of his brain in 2012. Meister was simply 16 years outdated on the time. 

Thankfully, the surgical procedure was profitable and Meister was launched from the hospital in February. He was required to put on a neck brace up till just lately.

“Things easily could have been more tragic and my time spent with him could be at the cemetery.”

– Jenna Meister, Brock Meister’s mom

While he nonetheless has hassle together with his proper arm and ache within the decrease a part of his physique, he is present process bodily and occupational remedy at Memorial Hospital to deal with these points.

“It is truly incredible,” Shaikh stated of Mesiter’s capacity to outlive brain most cancers and the automotive accident.

“It’s been really hard,” Meister advised Fox News on Saturday. “It makes me feel good knowing that I’m still here, but I always ask the question ‘why me?’”

“I just keep reminding myself things will get better it just takes time,” he continued, including that he tries to spend as a lot time as doable with associates to “get back to somewhat normal.”

brock and mom

“As a mother, I do know, I really know God was there that night time and saved my little one. Things simply may have been extra tragic and my time spent with him could possibly be on the cemetery. Our boy is a miracle,” Jenna added.

Jenna Meister didn’t instantly reply to Fox News’ request for touch upon Friday.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can observe her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.


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