After a car accident while heading to see her family, Army Private Shamika Burrage lost her entire left ear, but her medical team came up with a cool way to get her a new one. Surgeons at William Beaumont Army Medical Center had the idea to use cartilage from her ribs to create a new, non-artificial ear. Once they formed it, they had to “grow” it under the skin of the soldier’s arm before attaching it.
Lieutenant Colonel Owen Johnson III, Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery pointed out in the U.S. Army report that Burrage had “her whole life ahead of her,” and that she deserved the best option. At first, the soldier was hesitant to do reconstructive surgery, but she went forward with it anyway. It was a big success and Burrage didn’t even lose hearing in her new ear.
She was “excited and optimistic” about the final result.