In 2008, after discovering an aggressive cancer in her ear, Sherrie Walters accepted to surgically remove a large swatch of tissue from her ear, including her ear under surgery of Dr. Patrick Byrne who already successfully implant an ear on a man's arm.
Byrne decided to implant the ear beneath her forearm where it can safely grow over a period of months. Once it was ready, Byrne re-attached the ear and connective blood vessels. A second surgery was performed to improve the shape and add detail to the ear.
“I thought of this exact strategy many years before and really was looking for the right patient to try it on,”
Byrne told a local CBS News affiliate in Baltimore.
Walters has since regained her hearing thanks to a special hearing aid. Though the progress her and the medical staff have made is already quite remarkable, Byrne believes a few more procedures would be all that’s unnecessary before the final result would be a normal-looking ear.
Throughout the process, Walters’ and her husband has kept a sense of humor about it all.
“We started making jokes just to try to get used to it and I was like, `Can you hear me? Can you hear me?’ Walters, told CBS News.