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Vietnam's ‘Napalm Girl’ gets final skin treatment 50 years since the iconic photo

During the Vietnam War, Phan Ti had suffered 65 per cent burns and her wounds were so severe that doctors doubted she would survive.

June 30, 2022 / 08:20 PM IST
During the Vietnam War, Phan Ti had suffered 65 per cent burns and her wounds were so severe that doctors doubted she would survive. (Image credit: Nick Ut/Instagram)

During the Vietnam War, Phan Ti had suffered 65 per cent burns and her wounds were so severe that doctors doubted she would survive. (Image credit: Nick Ut/Instagram)


A Vietnamese woman featured in one of the world's most iconic war photos touched an emotional milestone this week in Florida as she received her last laser treatment for her skin which was burnt after after a napalm bomb struck her village 50 years ago.

Known across the world as "Napalm Girl", Kim Phuc Phan Ti was just 9 when she was photographed running down the street crying after the attack on her village in Vietnam in June 1972.

The image of her scalded body and anguished expression embedded itself into the world's psyche after a photographer captured the moment.

Now, at59, Phan Ti received her final skin treatment at a Miami clinic after decades of pain that plagued her scarred torso.

Kim Phuc receives a laser treatment by Dr. Jill Waibel at the Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute. Kim Phuc Phan Ti receives a laser treatment by Dr Jill Waibel at the Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute.

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Recalling the incidents of the day of bombing, Phan Ti told CBS News that she was playing with other kids when Vietnamese soldiers told her to run. "Of course we as children were just allowed to play nearby the bomb shelter inside of the temple courtyard. Then, I remember after lunch, the South Vietnamese soldiers yell for the children to run," she said.

“And I look up I saw the airplane and four bombs landing like that."

Too hot! Too hot!” she yelled while running away from her village.

Phan Ti had suffered 65 per cent burns and her wounds were so severe that doctors doubted she would survive.







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“I still remember what I thought that moment — ‘Oh my goodness, I got burned, then I will be ugly, then people will see me a different way,'” Phan Ti told the outlet.

It took grueling treatments for over a year for her condition to stabilise.

Read more: Napalm Girl: Why she never grows old

After further treatments, five years ago, Phan Ti met Dr Jill Waibel, a world renowned doctor who specializes in treatment in burns and trauma scars. And it's from her than Phan Ti received her final treatment.

“She offered her treatment to me, and we have done for 11 laser treatment already, and today I am so happy to go back to do the 12th time,” said Phan Ti.

Marking the milestone, the she also had a message against war.

“Now 50 years later, I am not longer a victim of war, I am not ‘Napalm girl,'” she said. “Now, I am a friend, I am a helper, I am a mother, I am a grandmother and I am a survivor calling out for peace.”

Read more: The power ‘Napalm Girl’ possessed 50 years ago has diminished today
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jun 30, 2022 08:17 pm
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