Ipswich: Teenager Terri takes another step on the road to recovery

IPSWICH: For most teenage girls, getting your ears pierced is an exciting milestone to share with friends.

But for Terri Calvesbert, the joy is even more poignant.

For the first time since she can remember, the 13-year-old now has ears.

The ones she was born with were destroyed when she was involved in a devastating fire at the age of just 18 months.

Now more than 12 years on and after dozens of hospital visits, Terri has finally been given her new ears, meaning she is one step closer to putting the horrific blaze behind her.

Terri, of Shakespeare Road, Ipswich, is now able to fit her hearing aids properly, which will lead to improved hearing and a better quality of life.

And as a typical teenager, she is also pleased to be able to wear earrings for the first time.

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Terri, a pupil at Westbourne Sports College, sustained appalling injuries when a fire ripped through her Chantry home in November 1998.

She was left with 85 per cent burns to her body and over the years has undergone numerous operations and procedures.

The fire left her with a disfigured nose, no ears, fingers or toes and she has had to attend hospital for ongoing operations and therapy as she grows.

Since the tragedy, Terri’s story has captured the imagination of people across the world and a fund launched by The Evening Star in her name has raised thousands of pounds.

Her father, Paul, said: “She loves her new ears. It is a bit daunting because she is not used to having them.

“She got them pierced and has some studs she can wear which is nice for her. It has given her a bit more confidence.”

Terri, who has had a boyfriend, Luke, for the past two years, said: “It was quite scary getting them [the ears]. It does feel a lot different, but I like them.

“When I went back to school after the holidays, I was worried what people would say but hardly anyone noticed them. I am getting used to them now.”

n Since the fire, Evening Star readers have raised a pot of almost �500,000 for Terri’s future.

Donations to The Terri Calvesbert Appeal can be sent to Michelle Dorrell, editor’s secretary, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN.

n Has pioneering medical treatment changed your life? Call The Evening Star on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk