Baby Celiwe: success!

2013-05-03 08:14

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Baby Celiwe’s family couldn’t contain their excitement when they briefed the media last night at Garden City Hospital in Johannesburg after they heard the little girl’s skin transplant had been a success.

Her mother, Katlego Maseko, said she couldn’t wait for the 5-year-old to come home: “I have waited for this day for a long time,” she said.

Her father, Brown, said they still had a long way to go “but we are happy that the first step was a success”.

“Words cannot describe how happy I am right now.”

Celiwe, who was the second burn victim to undergo a skin transplant using her cloned skin, was burnt on her back, chest, stomach and thighs in January this year. The incident happened while she and friends were playing matches.

A burning match was flicked and accidentally landed on her, igniting her dress.

She underwent the skin transplant on Thursday last week.

Led by Dr Ridwan Mia, a team of doctors transplanted her laboratory-grown skin.

Mia said the surgery was a success and Celiwe was expected to fully recover within two months.

Mia is no stranger to skin grafts. He shot to international fame after performing a similar procedure on Isabella “Pippie” Kruger last June.

Pippie (now 4) became South Africa’s most famous little burn victim, her brave fight capturing South Africans’ imaginations.

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