Kim Manwaring was Ricky's main doctor.
Dr. Manwaring is a brain surgeon. He was concerned.
He did not know if an operation would help Ricky.
Tests showed that the coma was not Ricky's only problem.
Even if he awoke, he would have no movement or feeling from the neck down--he was paralyzed.
The doctor feared he would remain that way forever.
But then he saw something that gave him hope.
Ricky was still in a coma.
But Dr. Manwaring saw a small movement in Ricky's arm.
He knew that this meant the brain and spinal cord still had some connection.
An operation could possibly help.
Dr Manwaring and his team decided to operate.
The doctors connected Ricky's skull to his backbone.
They used long rods made of titanium metal, fixed to the bones with titanium bolts.
The rods bridged the break at the top of Ricky's backbone.
The operation went well.
36 hours after the operation Ricky surprised the doctors.
He began to move his right leg.
Ten days later he moved his left leg.
And to communicate he would open and close his eyes.
Soon after that he started writing.
And finally he started speaking.
The doctors told Ricky he had survived an extremely serious injury to his head--internal decapitation. Ricky said:
"The doctors started to explain things to me.
But I had no idea what they were talking about.
And then I understood. Decapitated is head cut off.
Internal is inside. So head cut off in my body. OK."