Husband of Wife Nearly Decapitated in Freak Accident Asks Public's Help in Life-Saving Surgery by NY Doctor

Guy and Rachel Pighill before the accident; Rachel Pighill at hospital after the accident.

"Rachel’s hopes and dreams are like all mums, she wants to watch our daughter grow up and one day be a proud mum at her wedding. I desperately need my wife and our daughter needs her Mum," Rachel Pighill's husband wrote.

A British woman who was nearly “internally decapitated” when a ceiling fan struck her in the head in a freak accident is fighting for her life.

Rachel Pighills, 35, of Worcestershire was struck by the fan while she was standing on her bed. The incident happened in 2018 when she was busy moving into her new home, SWNS reported. 

Pighills now suffers from atlantoaxial instability and basilar invagination, a life-threatening condition in which the skull and brain have slipped into the spine, causing a bone to protrude into her brain stem, her husband, Guy, 41 wrote in a GoFundMe.

In January 2020, Pighills underwent occipital spine fusion surgery in the U.K. Guy explained that doctors used rods and screws to affix his wife’s skull to her spine. He said they also removed a piece of bone from her skull and her spine to create more room for her brain. 

“The surgeon assured us this procedure would relieve the pressure from her brainstem,” Guy said. “Sadly, this has not been the case, and we eventually learned that Rachel’s surgery had failed."

Pighills' condition has become more severe. Tests have revealed "a rapid deterioration of her brainstem function," which, Guy wrote, "can shut down completely at any time and lead to brainstem death."

“Rachel needs to undergo a combination of very complex brain and spinal surgeries in order to save her life!” he wrote.

After consulting with multiple specialists worldwide, Pighills' husband said that a specialist neurosurgeon based in New York, Dr. Paolo Bolognese, may be able to help his wife but, in order to accomplish this, he needs to raise money. 

He explained that $500,000 (£350,000) would be needed to cover three major surgeries, pre, and post-surgery and nursing care. In addition, to air ambulance costs, which he explained is approximately $123,000 (£90,000).

Pighills, who is the mother to a 14-year-old daughter, is described by her husband as “strong, brave, and selfless." He wrote in the heartbreaking post that “the thought of life without her is unbearable.” 

"Watching her suffer and dying before my eyes is soul-destroying. Our daughter constantly worries that she may come home from school one day to find out she’s lost her mum for good,” Guy said.

“Sadly time is crucial now as Rachel is in respiratory failure and every day I am witnessing her deterioration," he wrote. "The quicker we can raise the funds the more hope we have of her making a full recovery. Rachel is now unable to leave the house unaided and has no quality of life."

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