New ears, new nose, new hope for Terri

JUST weeks ago 10-year-old burns victim Terri Calvesbert was promised a new pair of ears after hers were destroyed when fire ripped through her home.

JUST weeks ago 10-year-old burns victim Terri Calvesbert was promised a new pair of ears after hers were destroyed when fire ripped through her home.

Now, the pioneering surgeon set to perform the operation has agreed to give her a new nose too.

Terri is travelling to Great Ormand Street Hospital, London, in January for a four-day stay which will transform the way she looks.

It will be the first time she has had a normal looking nose and ears since 85per cent of her body was burned in the fire in 1998.

Today, her father Paul Calvesbert said: “She's really looking forward to the end result.

“The ears and nose feel rubbery but they don't look any different and you cannot tell by looking at them whether they are real or not.

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“She's already put earrings on her Christmas list.”

Paul and Terri, who live with Paul's fiancée Nicky Lowry in Shakespeare Road, north-west Ipswich, visited the hospital's children's ear, nose and throat referral centre this week.

Mr Calvesbert said: “We saw how the ears are made and Terri was allowed to look and have a play with them.

“It is a bit daunting for her. She couldn't get her head around the fact she had a nose sitting in her hand, and the hospital is new to her so she's a bit scared.”

Terri's new ears will be attached by magnets. Once the operation has healed she will be able to have hearing aids fitted and it is hoped she will have improved hearing for Paul's and Nicky's wedding next summer.

Terri is currently partially deaf and unable to pick up high-pitched noises. There is nowhere to attach a normal hearing aid and she cannot have a bone-anchored hearing aid (a permanent implant inserted into the skull) because of the extent of her injuries.

The only help with hearing she gets at the moment is when she is at Whitehouse Junior School, where her teacher wears a microphone and Terri has an earphone.

The artificial nose is a cover for the part of a nose she has left and does not involve an operation.

Mr Calvesbert said: “The nose procedure will be very quick but will make a huge difference for her, as will the ears.”

Terri is also soon expected to return to Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, to have some work done freeing up movement of her arm and to start to build a permanent new nose.

N Since the fire, Evening Star readers have raised more than £470,000 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? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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