NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - A soldier from Mississippi who lost her left ear in a car accident in 2016 now has a new one after a successful transplant operation. On Thursday, surgeons placed the ear, which included cartilage harvested from Private Shamika Burrage's ribs and grown in her forearm, onto her head.
"(The ear) will have fresh arteries fresh veins and even a fresh nerve so she'll be able to feel it," said surgeon Lt. Col. Owen Johnson III, chief, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, William Beaumont Army Medical Center.
According to the U.S. Army, the vehicle Burrage was driving while returning to Texas from leave blew a tire causing it to skid and then flip. The passenger, Burrage's cousin who was eight months pregnant at the time, was not injured.
"I didn't lose any hearing and (Johnson) opened the canal back up," Burrage told the Army's media wing.
Skin from the forearm will cover up scar tissue around Burrage's left jawline.
With only two more surgeries left, Burrage states she is feeling more optimistic and excited to finish the reconstruction. "It's been a long process for everything, but I'm back," said Burrage.