LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Seven-year-old Teddy Ward is back to being a normal kid again, just two years after a tragic fall almost cost him his life.

Two years ago, Teddy fell down a Topanga Canyon hillside and suffered a traumatic brain injury. It left him with a gaping hole in his skull.

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“This was a remarkable defect,” his doctor, Dr. Mark Urata, said. “It was close to 50 percent of his skull that was gone.”

Doctors tried a surgery to repair the injury, but it was unsuccessful.

So Teddy was sent home and forced to wear a helmet everywhere he went for more than a year.

He also had to tame his sometimes-rambunctious ways. That meant no play dates and no birthday parties.

“No parent wanted the responsibly of a child without a skull,” his mother, Lisa Ward, said.

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That’s all changed now after an innovative surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The 1st-grader last month received a 3-D-printed skull implant that fits perfectly with his existing skull bone.

The implant is no ordinary plastic. It’s made from a material called PolyEtherEtherKetone (PEEK), which has roughly the same physical properties as a skull.

The surgery was successful, and Teddy is now back to being an active kid.

“I put the word out, literally a few days ago, that Teddy is available for sleepovers!” Lisa Ward said.

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Doctors say Teddy can participate in all the same activities as other kids, with the exception of playing football.