Rachel Bailey sustained the rare, usually deadly injury where her spine was torn from her skull during a car crash in Phoenix back in September.
But not only did firefighters save her life, Bailey says they also saved her from paralysis, AZ Family reported.
The 23-year-old told the group of men at Fire Station 7 that she could never thank them enough and she called them heroes, AZ Family reported.
“I can’t express enough gratitude.”
Bailey, who has no memory of the crash, spent a month in John C. Lincoln Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
When someone is internally decapitated, their spine is detached from their skull.
Usually, their head is held on by just tissue and muscles.
Doctors have used metal plates, cages and bone grafts in surgery to reattach the head to the spine.
In most cases the patient dies because their spinal cord has been severed.
Even if they do survive, they are normally paralyzed because of severe nerve damage.
But Bailey beat the odds and has now learned to walk and talk again.