Doctor's Implant Part of Patient's Skull in Abdomen Between Brain Surgeries

Doctor's Implant Part of Patient's Skull in Abdomen Between Brain Surgeries

Jamie Hilton of Boise, Idaho, is a former beauty queen who held the title of Mrs. Idaho, but if there is a woman in America who knows that beauty is only skin deep, it is this 36-year-old mother of three.

"I am full of gratitude that I am even alive," Jamie told INSIDE EDITION.

Her current hairdo isn't something you ever see at beauty pageants. Half her head had been shaved for reasons you won't believe.

A home video captured the drama of her lying unconscious after a 12-foot fall and hitting her head on a boulder last June.

"When I got down there she was not breathing. She did not have a pulse," said her husband.

It took three hours to get her to a hospital, where one-quarter of her skull was removed to relieve pressure on the brain. Now, brace yourself for what happened next.

Jamie said, "I had a severe brain injury. They told me, 'You hit your head. We had to remove a piece of your skull.' Then, they gave me the news, 'They put it in your stomach.' So I looked down and then saw the bump."

That's right, a piece of her skull was implanted in Jamie’s belly to keep it sterile and nurished.

For 42 days, that piece of skull remained in her abdomen, protected and nourished while the swelling in her brain slowly went down, then at last, the skull bone was re-attached to her head.

"It was righ under my rib," she showed INSIDE EDITION.

Now, the mother of three is grateful the amazing procedure saved her life—a life she came so close to losing.