Gordon Moore grows new skull after decades
Gordon Moore, 72, had worn a metal plate to protect his brain for more than 50 years after he was involved in a car crash.
But when surgeons removed the titanium plate to treat an infection, they were astonished to find the had grown a new skull underneath.
A skull growing back is so rare there are no records on the number of times it has happened.
The whole smashed front section of Gordon's skull, from his eye to his ear, backwards to the top of his head, has regenerated.
It is understood there has been only one other discovery like this in the world.
Great-grandfather Gordon, who used to run a post office in North Shields, was expecting to wait months for a replacement plate.
Now, thanks to the medical wonder, he has been told he no longer needs one, and is enjoying a new lease of life.
Gordon, who now lives in Hexham, said: "I was amazed when they told me and obviously very pleased at the same time.
"They took the infected plate out and found I had grown a completely new skull underneath, so they just stitched me up.
"I've been reassured that everything is fine, but apparently it's very, very rare. They were totally amazed.
"I was being prepared to walk around with a safety helmet on for a few months, but now it's just not necessary.
"Although they say bone does grow through time, it's never half a skull like this. My new skull is the exact same shape as the metal plate.
"I've asked if they will give me the plate back as a souvenir, but I haven't received an answer yet."
Last year doctors discovered Gordon's metal plate was poking out of the top of his head.
When skin grafts failed to cover up the open wound, neuro-surgeons decided to remove the plate. And when they got him on the operating table in August,
they made the amazing discovery.
Medics at Newcastle's General Hospital have described the find as "extremely interesting" and believe further tests could be carried out on Gordon, who ran an off-licence on Shibdon Bank, Winlaton, Gateshead, until 1990.
Newcastle Hospitals consultant neurologist Param Bhattahiri was in charge of Gordon's treatment.
He said: "It was a great surprise to find the skull had grown back. You would expect it in a child, but not in an adult, certainly not an area of bone so big.
"I've never heard of anything like this, although I haven't reviewed all the literature on it.
"It's certainly very rare, but it's very rare to remove a metal plate after this period of time. I had never heard of one being taken out after more than 50 years.
"We had no idea what we were going to find underneath, but I didn't expect to find a new skull."
Experts are now waiting to perform more scans of Gordon's head to check the thickness and strength of the new bone.
Gordon said: "Everyone thinks it's great. I'm very lucky I suppose. I was told the metal plate would last me for the rest of my life. I never expected this to happen.
"I suppose I should be grateful to it because it has made the skull grow back.
"It's very strange to think I've had it in my head for so long, now I have to get used to life without a metal plate."
Great-grandfather Gordon previously hit the headlines when he became one of the first tourists to visit war-ravaged Iraq as a tourist.
Three years after Gordon's car crash he was involved in a collision with a lamppost. Gordon managed to avoid the impact of the steering wheel, but instead went head-first into a mirror, leaving a dent in his metal plate. His new skull follows the contours of the dent.