Soldier Gets New Ear Grown In Her Arm Then Transplanted
May 11, 2018, 04:28
But a group of Army doctors did one better: They grew a new ear on a soldier's forearm, using cartilage harvested from her ribs.
The total ear reconstruction, at William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC), was the first of its kind for the U.S. Army and involved harvesting cartilage from Pvt. In 2012, a woman lost her ear to cancer and grew a replacement under her forearm skin, ABC News reported.
Burrage was returning to Fort Bliss, Texas, after visiting family in MS when a tire blowout led to the accident that changed her life. Doctors later told her that if she had received medical attention 30 minutes later, she could have died.
Burrage said the auto skidded for 700 feet before it flipped several times again and eventually ejected her from the vehicle altogether. "I was just scared at first but wanted to see what he could do", she said, according to the Army's statement.
"(The ear) will have fresh arteries, fresh veins and even a fresh nerve so she'll be able to feel it", Johnson said on the US Army's website.
Two years after losing her left ear in a auto accident, 21-year-old Pvt.
"I was going to go with the prosthetic, to avoid more scarring but I wanted a real ear", Burrage said.
The procedure was a first for the Army, but it harkens back to the notorious Vacanti Mouse, a rodent onto which scientists implanted the shape of a human ear back in the 1990s.
The recipient, Private Shamika Burrage, was seriously injured in a 2016 auto accident, when she was 19-years-old. She then looked at other options, but when Johnson and other surgeons initially proposed the idea of growing an ear in her arm, Burrage was shocked.
'It's been a long process for everything but I'm back, ' said Burrage. She has two more surgeries left to complete.
Burrage was thrown from the vehicle, bashing her head against the pavement and fracturing her spine in several places. Through two additional surgeries, the ear will be reattached, and Burrage will have full hearing and sense of feeling in the organ, according to the statement.
Burrage said in the report that she "didn't lose any hearing and (Johnson) opened the canal back up", which had closed following the auto accident. Shamika is now able to hear again in her new ear.
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