Aid Reaching Children

Craig’s Story

Craig was 9 years old when he was first introduced to A.R.C. He was suffering from a sever form of Goldenhaar’s syndrome. Craig was born with a right microtia (small piece of cartilage instead of an ear) and all of his organs on the right side of his body are smaller than the left. Craig had been told that he would have to wait until he was at least 13 before he could undergo a total ear reconstruction on the NHS. As he was being bullied at school A.R.C agreed to help out and try and get him the operation right away. An appeal was launched and donations came flooding in. Within weeks Craig had an opportunity to travel to America for an assessment by Dr Ivor Kaplin from the Hague Clinic for Plastic Surgery in Norfolk, Virginia. It was after this assessment that Dr Kaplin agreed to do the operation. So more fund raising took place and some individual larger donations came in. One group of men did a marathon bowling session and raised £900. After returning home from the U.S.A a surgeon from England called A.R.C and offered to do the operation for Craig. Dr David Gault from Bishopswood Hospital actually pioneered this sort of operation and was very keen for Craig to go to England rather than the U.S.A in case of any complications.

After returning home from the U.S.A a surgeon from England called A.R.C and offered to do the operation for Craig. Dr David Gault from Bishopswood Hospital actually pioneered this sort of operation and was very keen for Craig to go to England rather than the U.S.A in case of any complications.

It was now March 2003 that Craigs first procedure took place. He was prepared early in the morning and spent over 7 hours down in surgery. The first stage was to remove one of his ribs, which would then be cut into the shape of an ear. Some of the cartilage would be preserved under his skin on his chest and this would be kept there until the next procedure. Because of Craigs very low hair line he had to have the side of his scalp pulled up so that when the new ear was placed in the right position the hair wouldn’t grow over it. When Craig came back from his operation his head was heavily bandaged and he had a couple of drains in the side of his neck. At no time did he ever complain and was very brave throughout.

Craigs 2nd operation took place a year later. This procedure was to remove the preserved piece of cartilage from his chest and then position and place it behind his new ear which at this time layed flat against his head. The piece that was now being placed behind was to bring the ear out from his head so it sat like a normal ear. This operation took 3 hours. Craig also had a skin graft at the back of the new ear. He also had treatment to stop the hair growing on the new ear.

The 3rd operation was a tidy up operation and since this Craig has had to travel back and forward to Bishopswood Hospital to have painful steroid injections in his new ear to bring the scar tissue down. He will have to return to see Dr Gault in the next few weeks to have a further consultation to see what else can be done to tidy it up even more. Through all this Craig has been really a very cheerful and very appreciative young man he is now 13 and copes really well although in the future he will need further operations. A.R.C will continue to support Craig through any more operations that he requires.

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