tiptrot.com July 17, 2018

Docs replace soldier's ear with one grown inside forearm

11 May 2018, 01:31 | Nichole Osborne

The ear has been created from a cartilage which was harvested from her ribs

The ear has been created from a cartilage which was harvested from her ribs

Surgeons this week announced that the new ear has been successfully reattached to Pvt.

Burrage lost her ear in 2016 at the age of 19 when a tire on the auto she was driving from MS to Fort Bliss, Texas, suddenly blew out, causing the vehicle to flip several times before she was ejected from it. While her cousin managed to escape with only minor wounds, Burrage suffered head injuries as well as compression fractures in the spine.

She could be fitted with a plastic prosthetic ear or she could have one reconstructed.

Doctors harvested cartilage from the ribs of Shamika Burrage, who lost her left ear in a vehicle accident two years ago. Johns Hopkins Hospital also used a similar procedure for a cancer patient who lost her ear, ABC News reports, and earlier this year, doctors in China used a combination of 3-D printing and cartilage harvesting to grow new ears for five children with a birth defect called microtia, CNN reports.

Now thanks to a revolutionary process that was more than a year in the making and a first for the Army, she doesn't have to.

Burrage has two surgeries left before the reconstruction of her new ear is complete.

"It's been a long process for everything, but I'm back", she said. The passenger, Burrage's cousin who was eight months pregnant at the time, was not injured. The new ear grew under the skin of her arm - even developing blood vessels. While she was initially scared about going through with the reconstruction, she said she wanted to see what doctors could do. The auto skidded 700 feet and flipped several times, according to the Army press release.

"I was on the ground, I just looked up and (my cousin) was right there".

"I was coming back from leave and we were around Odessa, Texas", Burrage said about the accident. Johnson said. "As a young active-duty soldier, they deserve the best reconstruction they can get".

Doctors later told her that if medical treatment had been delayed for 30 more minutes, she would have bled to death.

She was presented with a daring plan from Lt. Col. Owen Johnson III, chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Texas' William Beaumont Army Medical Center.

"I didn't want to do (the reconstruction) but gave it some thought and came to the conclusion that it could be a good thing", she said.

A service member named Shamika Burrage suffered a near-fatal auto crash in which she lost an ear.

Burrage had resigned herself to living a life with a prosthetic ear, but she didn't like the way it looked.

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