Nine-Year-Old Girl Has Ear Rebuilt From Her Ribs!

07/09/2012 12:03 | Updated 22 May 2015
Girl, 9, has ear rebuilt from her ribs!SWNS

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

Following a whopping 40 operations since birth, the nine-year-old from Glasgow is now celebrating a successful operation to rebuild her left ears using her ribs.

She is due to undergo a second operation to give her a new jawbone, and doctors have promised to pierce her ears as a reward for her unbelievable bravery once this is completed.

Chloe was born 12 weeks premature 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.

Goldenhar Syndrome is believed to affect just 200 people in the UK.

Girl, 9, has ear rebuilt from her ribs!SWNS

Her mum Lynne, 35, says: "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."

Doctors first discussed using tissue from Chloe's ribs to rebuild her face when the little girl was just four, but they needed to wait until her ribcage was at least 2ft (60cm).

The successful operation was two weeks ago. Surgeons took cartilage from her rib and carved it into the shape of an ear. They took skin from her partially formed left ear lobe and used it to create her an ear, before grafting it to Chloe's head.

Amazingly, her old ear was then planted in her abdomen to be saved for any future operations!

Girl, 9, has ear rebuilt from her ribs!SWNS

In around six months time Chloe will be back in hospital for a second operation to separate the back of her ear from her head so it is the same as a normal ear. Another rib will also be removed and used to make a new jaw bone.

"It's amazing what they can do for Chloe. It is going to be wonderful to see her when all the operations are completed," says Lynne, who has joined a support group for families of people with Goldenhar Syndrome, alongside her husband, Brain, 50.

"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."

For more information, visit the Goldenhar Support Group online at

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