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‘Little Hulk' survives traumatic brain injury

Ga. boy receives emergency surgery at Wolfson Children's Hospital

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An 8-month-old boy from Brunswick survived a traumatic brain injury after an emergency surgery at Wolfson Children's Hospital.

Robert and Jennifer Payne were enjoying a Saturday morning at their home, when their boy, Liam, pulled himself onto the family's coffee table. Excited about his accomplishment, he let go, hitting his head on the table's metal leg.

Even though his mom and dad were right there, it happened abruptly and they couldn't stop the fall.

"After he fell, Liam instantly started screaming and crying," Jennifer Payne said. "Call it mother's intuition, but I knew something was terribly wrong."

A CT scan confirmed Liam had suffered a life-threatening epidural hematoma, bleeding that happens between the outer membrane covering the brain and the skull as a result of head trauma. Liam's case is not common and only occurs in about three percent of children. Only about a tenth of those children require emergency brain surgery.

Liam spent three days at Wolfson Children's before he was discharged to go home.

“As terrible as it was, I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome,” Payne said. “Nothing could be worse than those feelings, thoughts and minutes that we experienced. We are so grateful and thankful that day played out the way it did in the end."

Liam will continue to receive follow-up care at Wolfson Children's Hospital. The boy, who his parents now affectionately call "Little Hulk," is active, happy and alert.

"Prayers from all around the country were being said for our ‘Little Hulk,'" Payne said. "It was a one-in-a-million situation, and I am forever thankful and grateful for the care we received.”

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Lifetime Jacksonville resident, journalist and experienced broadcast news producer with a passion for classic and exotic cars.