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A US soldier will have an ear again after doctors have made her grow on her arm


  • Shamika Burrage lost her ear after suffering a serious car accident
  • After a year Shamika has two surgeries to complete the process

Shamika Burrage, an American soldier, lost her ear in a car accident in 2016 when she was 19 years old. Now the surgeons of the Medical Army in Texas will get Shamika to have an ear again.

As reported by the newspaper ‘Daily Mail’, through a peculiar and complicated procedure doctors have managed to recreate an ear for the soldier, which they have inserted into his arm so that it ends up growing and developing.

Once his growth is complete, the surgeons will remove the ear and transplant it to the left side of his face, where Shamika, 21, can even feel his new appendix.

In 2016, the soldier and her cousin returned to their post in Texas after visiting their family in Mississippi when one of the wheels burst, leaving the car off the road and turning several bells.

Shamika shot out of the car, hitting her head on the ground and fracturing her spine in several areas. His body skidded down the road several meters destroying his left ear completely. “The last thing I remember is several people walking towards us, asking if we were okay, then I fainted,” he told the British newspaper.

When he opened his eyes again, Shamika was in the hospital. He had lost a lot of blood and his ear. The doctors had to reopen their ear canal, also damaged during the accident. If he had stayed 30 minutes more without receiving medical attention, he would not have arrived at the hospital alive.

He spent several months in rehabilitation and began receiving psychological assistance. The accident and the injuries she had caused were traumatic for her, and each time she looked in the mirror she reminded him of those hard moments. “I did not feel comfortable with my appearance, so I opted for plastic surgery,” he explained.

There were two options to perform an implant with a plastic prosthesis or reconstruct it. “I did not want to do the reconstruction, but after thinking about it I came to the conclusion that it could be a good thing (…) I was going to have a prosthesis, to avoid more scars, but I wanted a real ear“.

It was his surgeon, Lt. Col. Owen Johnson, who encouraged him to rebuild the member. “I was 19 years old and I was healthy, and I had a whole life ahead of me, why did I have to deal with having an artificial ear for the rest of my life?” Said the doctor.

Together they chose the procedure that not only would give a new use, but also cover some scars on his face. To give him a new ear, Dr. Johnson, head of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, removed the cartilage from his ribs, then the cartilage became an ear.

Meanwhile, the plastic surgery team expanded a segment of skin on Shamika’s forearm to make room to insert the ear. When there was enough space, the newly shaped ear was surgically placed under the piece of skin. The body, recognizing its own tissue, stimulated the growth of new blood vessels and even a nerve in the incipient ear. The whole process has lasted a year.

“The ear will have new arteries, new veins and even a new nerve so you can feel it,” the doctor explained. In addition, the extra skin of his arm will cover the tissue of the scars that the soldier has on his jaw.

With just two more surgeries, Burrage says she feels more optimistic and excited to finish the reconstruction. “It’s been a long process, but I’m back,” he says.

  • Source: The World
    Date: 11-5-2018
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