Doctors put part of Valley's teen Jake Falletich's skull inside stomach

PHOENIX - A Valley teenager is recovering in the hospital after doctors removed part of his skull and put it inside of his stomach as part of a delicate surgery.

Last January, a driver ran into Jake Falletich as he crossed a street in Gilbert while riding his bicycle.

After the accident, Falletich's brain started swelling.

Doctors at Maricopa Medical Center removed part of his skull and placed it inside his abdominal area for safe keeping.

Sometimes doctors freeze the skull in these procedures but say there's less chance of the bone getting infected when it's within its own body.

On Monday, doctors replaced the skull back over Falletich's brain.

On Tuesday, he was awake and talking.

While he said his head hurt a little, he said he is grateful for modern medicine.

"I'm just amazed at how this can happen. You can take any bone or body part and put it in your stomach and keep it alive," said Falletich from his hospital bed.

Doctors said Falletich's prognosis is good and expect him to be back to near normal.

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