After serious head injury, Mrs. Idaho 2009 recovering

After serious head injury, Mrs. Idaho 2009 recovering

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 2 at 9:06 AM

BOISE -- After falling, being seriously injured, and having part of her skull temporarily removed and stored in her stomach, Mrs. Idaho 2009 is hoping her story inspires others.

Jamie Hilton's husband, Nick Hilton, said Jamie fell in Hells Canyon on June 6, 2012. Her blog says the couple was in the area salmon fishing when Jamie fell 10 to 12 feet and landed on some rocks.

She was airlifted to the St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise and put in the intensive care unit.

"When I woke up I was in a hospital, and because I didn't remember falling I was looking around," Hilton said. "I was surrounded by people that love me and that I love. Nick was there, my parents were there, and I remember looking around and wondering why I was in a hospital."

Hilton's doctors there came up with a very unique way to help the injured beauty queen -- they removed a large piece of her skull in order to let her brain swell. Afterward, medical staff kept that piece of skull in Hilton's abdomen so it would be nourished until they could reattach it.

"Nick informed me that a piece of my skull had been removed so that my brain could swell," Hilton explained. "And then came the really interesting news that they had put it into my abdomen, and so I remember lifting the gown and looking down and just seeing this huge bulge in my stomach and thinking, is this real?"

Doctors left the piece of skull in Hilton's abdomen for 42 days. The removal left the right side of her head unprotected and slightly misshapen. Her husband said she wore a lot of scarves before the piece of skull  was reattached.

Jamie and her family will be on the Today Show on Monday to share their story.

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