PAUL HOPES TO INSPIRE YOUNG PATIENTS WITH HIS STORY
Arabella Carter, 4, is all smiles less than a day after surgery to correct the microtia that affects both her ears.
“We want her to have the most normal life that she can possibly have,” dad Nolan said.
Microtia is a deformity of the ear that occurs in roughly 1 in 10,000 births. It is usually associated with no ear canal and poor hearing.
Surgeon John Reinisch created a technique that shapes the patient’s own tissue with a specially made plastic ear. The surgery isn’t just cosmetic, it improves their hearing, as well.
“Probably about 60 percent of the children we operate on we work with an otologist who makes a canal. So, those children can have everything done in one surgery,” Reinisch said.
KISS rock star Paul Stanley knows the loneliness of growing up with microtia and hopes to inspire young patients with his story.
Reporter: Were you teased? Were you bullied?
Paul Stanley: Oh, relentlessly. And even when you’re not being teased, you’re aware that people are staring.
The nonprofit group Mending Kids sponsored Arabella’s surgery and hundreds of other kids, so they can get operations their parents are unable to afford.
Now that she’s had the procedure, Arabella has set her sights on a pair of little mermaid earrings.
A more traditional method of microtia surgery involves using a patient’s own rib cartilage. But the patient has to be old enough to grow the tissue– usually age 8 or older. With this new technique, patients are as young as 2.