Girl, nine, to have her ear rebuilt from her RIBS so she can wear earrings, just like her friends
Doctors have promised they will pierce Chloe's ears after a second operation on her ear in six months timeThe nine-year-old had had 40 operations by the age of one


13:22 GMT, 6 September 2012



14:45 GMT, 6 September 2012

A schoolgirl will be able to wear earrings for the first time like her friends after doctors rebuilt her left ear from her ribs.

Chloe Duffin was born with rare condition Goldenhar Syndrome, which left her with one fully formed right ear, half a jaw and four of the usual seven neck vertebrae.

Now a seven-hour operation has helped the nine-year-old take a step closer to achieving her ambition of wearing earrings like her friends.

Chloe Duffin just before her operation

Chloe Duffin

Chloe was born without a left ear (pictured left). She has now had one rebuilt from her rib (right) and just needs one more operation to separate the back of the new ear from her head

In 2004 Chloe had already undergone more than 40 operations and had been told she would have to wait for life-changing facial surgery.

Now she has had the first of two operations to replace her ear and give her a new jawbone. Doctors have promised they will pierce her ears after the second operation as a reward for her bravery.

Mother Lynne, 35, from Glasgow, said: 'The best day of our life was after the operation when the doctors showed us her two ears at the same level on her face.

'Dealing with Chloe’s illness can be very trying, but we are so lucky to have a lot of support from our brilliant families – we could not do it without them.

'But the results of this operation are better than we were expecting and it is going to be fantastic to see Chloe at the end of her treatment.'

Chloe was born 12 weeks premature in the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital and weighed just 3lbs.
Her left ear and jaw were only partially formed and her airway was blocked. She was also deaf in her left ear.

Chloe was given the diagnosis of Goldenhar Syndrome, which is believed to affect just 200 people in the UK.

Chloe Duffin

Chloe Duffin

Chloe awaiting surgery (left) and after the operation (right). They had to wait until she was big enough to rebuild her face

Chloe shows off her brand new ear with her father Brian, 50, and mother Lynne, 39

Chloe shows off her brand new ear with her father Brian, 50, and mother Lynne, 39

Doctors promised when Chloe was four to try to rebuild her face using tissue from her ribs.
But she was too small for the operation and had to wait until her ribcage was at least 2ft (60cm).

Two weeks ago Chloe was taken into the Royal Hospital For Sick Children where surgeons took cartilage from her rib and carved it into the shape of an ear.

During the operation they took skin from her partially formed left ear lobe and used it to her create a formed left ear before painstakingly grafting it flat to Chloe’s head.

Because the two sides of her face are unaligned, they also had to create a new ear canal up to the new position of the left ear. Her old ear was then planted in her abdomen to be saved for any future operations.

In six months she will return for a second operation to separate the back of the ear from her head so it is the same as a normal ear.

One of her ribs will be removed and used to make a new jaw bone to even out the left side of her face.

Chloe Duffin

Chloe Duffin, aged 5

Chloe Duffin was born with half a jaw and a partially formed left ear (left). She had to wait until she was nine to have her new ear created. She is pictured right, aged 5

Chloe Duffin with her and pet dog Muffin. She will soon be able to wear earrings

Chloe Duffin with her and pet dog Muffin. She will soon be able to wear earrings

Doctors will also take the scar from her rib operation and place it behind her ear so she will have no visible scarring on her abdomen.

If the operation goes to plan Chloe will also get her ears pierced – and finally be able to wear the two pairs of earrings she has been saving for the special occasion.

Lynne said: 'It’s amazing what they can do for Chloe. It is going to be wonderful to see her when all the operations are completed.

'We travel between Yorkhill, the Southern General, Glasgow Dental Hospital and Edinburgh Sick Children’s Hospital for all Chloe’s treatments, but it will be worth it.'

Lynne and taxi driver Brian, 50, have also joined a support group for families of people with Goldenhar Syndrome.

When the pair joined the charity four years ago it had just 850 in funds – but taxi driver Brian and Lynee they have since raised 30,000.

Lynne said: 'Without this support group we would never have seen anybody else with this syndrome.

'For new people it can be great to meet up and see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That is just how we feel with Chloe.'

For more information, visit the Goldenhar Support Group’s website at