Schoolboy born with half an ear gets a new one – sculpted from his ribsPupil used to be taunted by bullies because part of his ear was missing
Sean can wear glasses for the first time
A schoolboy has been given a new ear after doctors used part of his rib to sculpt a replacement.
Ten-year-old Sean Wingrove-Smith from Walderslade, Kent, was born with part of his right ear missing, symptomatic of a rare genetic disorder.
But after numerous operations, surgeons at Great Ormond Street Hospital used cartilage from his ribcage to carve an ear and he can now wear glasses for the first time.
Transformation: Sean Wingrove-Smith, 10, was born with part of his right ear missing, symptomatic of a rare genetic disorder
Sean suffers from Goldenhar Syndrome, a defect which affects one in 25,000 babies causing the ears, lips or nose to stop developing properly in the womb.
Although he is still deaf in one ear his parents Dee, 38, and Steve, 37, say that the cosmetic procedure has boosted his self confidence.
His mother said: “People say you should be happy the way you are.
“Sean was happy growing up, but people had begun making jokes at his expense.”
The complicated procedure, which was paid for on the NHS, began last December.
After hours shaping the new ear from cartilage surgeons used skin grafted from his scalp to cover it.
The ear took a year to heal and the recovery process involved regular hospital trips but Sean is now able to talk to other pupils at his school about his experience.
He said: “The surgery didn”t worry me, I just hate needles. It was fun when I came into school wearing a big white bandage and looking like a Smurf.
“The only thing I don”t like about itis most people”s ears are quite flappy, but mine isn”t because they”ve had to make it rigid. Otherwise it”s fine!”
Sean is one of few patients in the country to have undergone the pioneering surgery.
Goldenhar syndrome was first described by Dr. Maurice Goldenhar in 1952 but the exact cause remains unknown and usually occurs randomly.