Burnt toddler awaits new skin

2012-06-08 09:11

A Limpopo toddler who sustained third degree burns to 80 percent of her body at a braai in December will receive a special skin transplant from the United States.

The child has been in the high care unit of Johannesburg’s Garden City Hospital for six months, since a bottle of flammable liquid exploded in her father’s hands and she was covered in flames, Beeld newspaper reported.

Her new skin, grown in a laboratory in Boston, Massachusetts, will arrive on Saturday and has to be transplanted within 24 hours, to ensure maximum efficacy.

Dr Ridwan Mia, her plastic surgeon, told the newspaper that there have been times during the past six months when he had to take a break in theatre to control his emotions, especially when he had to cut large pieces of dead skin off the girl’s face.

“The worst was having to cut skin off the child’s cheeks,” he said.

Her parents sent pieces of her undamaged skin, harvested from her groin area, to the US, where it was grown over a three week period.

The new skin will cost R724 000, all of which has been donated to the family’s trust fund by members of the public

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