Little Pippie's Special Gift
Little Pippie Kruger has received an unforgettable gift...
The three-year-old sustained 80% burns in an accident on New Year's Eve when her father, Erwin was using a bottle of gel firelighter to start a braai when the bottle exploded. His daughter was covered in flames, and the Krugers have been waiting for help for six months.
Pippie's skin graft was artificially grown from her own cells in a lab in Boston, but had to be put on to Pippie's wounds at most 24 hours later, otherwise it would be useless.
On Monday, Mande Toubkin, Netcare's emergency, trauma and transplant unit general manager, arrived at the hospital with sirens blaring. She arrived at the hospital with the valuable skin graft only 16 minutes after receiving the case of skin from the OR Tambo International Airport.
In a two-hour operation, plastic surgeon Dr Ridwan Mia placed the skin segments over the burnt areas, and held them in place with surgical clips. Pippie's limbs will be splinted and she will be sedated for a week to keep her from moving the skin around.
According to Beeld, the operation had gone well, and the surgeon said there would be scarring, but not as much as usual with skin grafts, since the skin was Pippie's own.
We take a look at the moment of the skin's arrival at Garden City, and its rush to get to Pippie.