A boy born without any ears has fulfilled his simple wish to be able to wear a pair of sunglasses, after having a new pair of ears created from his own ribs and skin from his scalp.
Nine-year-old Kieran Sorkin was born deaf with bilateral microtia – a rare condition which meant he had only small lobes where his ears should be. Experts at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London performed a six-hour operation using cartilage from his own ribs to create a pair of ears, and grafted them to his head.
His dream finally came true when the surgeon, Neil Bulstrode, said his new ears, which were created last August, had finally healed well enough for Kieran to wear sunglasses – just in time for summer. The schoolboy said it was “awesome” that he could finally sport a pair of shades.
Mr Bulstrode used an outline of his mother’s ears as a “family template”, to make them as close as possible to the shape that the youngster might have had.
Kieran said: “Before the operations I thought I might get elephant ears or mouse ears, but I’ve got my mum’s ears. It’s weird but I feel great.”
Although the procedure was primarily cosmetic, additional operations and the use of a hearing aid mean that Kieran has gradually developed the capacity to hear.
The boy, from Bushey in Hertfordshire, had struggled at school because he looked different from other children, but his new ears have given him a confidence boost.