Docs replace soldier's ear with one grown inside forearm

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

The transplant was conducted at William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC).

No prosthetics were needed.

And Johnson said it just made sense to try it, since Burrage is so young and shouldn't have to deal with an artificial ear for the rest of her life.

U.S. Army surgeons have grown a new ear on soldier's forearm to replace one that was lost in a vehicle accident. 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. Her cousin escaped with only minor injuries, but Shamika sustained major injuries aside from losing her ear, including head injuries and fractures in her spine.

Burrage was returning to Fort Bliss, Texas, after visiting family in MS when a tire blowout led to the accident that changed her life. Burrage was thrown from the auto and suffered serious injuries including head injuries, spinal fractures, road rash and the loss of her left ear, NBC News reports. I remember looking at my cousin who was in the passenger seat, I looked back at the road as I hit the brakes.

"Then I remember people walking up to us, asking if we were okay and then I blacked out".

Doctors later told Burrage she would have bled to death if 30 more minutes had passed before she got medical attention. "I just remember the first flip and that was it", Pvt.

The process of growing an ear in the forearm was pioneered at Johns Hopkins University and first carried out in 2012.

In the 1990s, an alarming, but real, photo of a mouse with what appeared to be a human ear attached to its back was widely circulated. But a rare procedure changed things as surgeons recreated an ear from cartilage and tucked it in her arm so that it develops completely.

After the accident, Burrage started going to a counselor, the report said. Shamika Burrage of MS, according to an Army news release.

When explained her options for reconstruction, Burrage was shocked and initially resistant to go through with the total ear reconstruction. She had lost her ear and a lot of blood.

Skin from the forearm will cover up scar tissue around Burrage's left jawline.

Burrage has two more surgeries before the reconstruction is complete, but she is already feeling more optimistic.

"It's been a long process for everything", she said, "but I'm back".

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