Doctors grow ear transplant inside soldier's arm - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Doctors grow ear transplant inside soldier's arm

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Private First class Shamika Burrage will leave the army soon and start nursing school.

The 21-year-old is already no stranger to medical procedures and has a unique story you have to hear.

In 2016, Burrage was hospitalized after a violent car crash left her with spinal fractures, road rash, and missing an ear. Following the crash, she was left with two options to fix the missing ear. Her options were a plastic prosthetic that included two metal rods in her head, or a unique approach that would re-grow a new ear.

A team of doctors at William Beaumont Army Medical Center had a plan to use a piece of her own body to create a new ear. They used a piece of cartilage from her rib cage and placed it under the skin on her arm.

For about a year the cartilage grew on her arm until it was a fully formed ear, complete with its own blood vessels.

Doctors have now successfully transplanted the ear from her arm to her head. She still has two surgeries to go but says she feels optimistic about her future. She says in about five years, people won't even be able to notice her ear.

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