Stage collapse victim has successful skull surgery

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A woman who suffered severe head injuries in a deadly Indiana State Fair stage collapse is celebrating a successful surgery to replace a portion of her skull that has been missing since the collapse.

Pendleton resident Andrea Vellinga's skull was crushed Aug. 13, 2011, when high winds toppled stage rigging as fans awaited a concert by country duo Sugarland. Doctors had to remove a portion of her skull, and two previous surgeries to replace it had failed.

WISH-TV reports doctors used skin expanders to stretch Vellinga's scalp and that the third surgery was successful.

Vellinga has shed the trademark pink helmet she has worn since the collapse to protect her skull but sometimes reaches for it out of habit.

Seven people died in the collapse.

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