a SCHOOLBOY born without his right ear – who is enjoying fresh confidence following surgery to build a new one – is excitedly looking forward to showing off the results on national television.
Ethan Giles-Bowman will visit the BBC’s One Show studio tomorrow where he will meet presenters Chris Evans and Alex Jones and talk about his experiences.
A mini-documentary following his surgery at London’s Royal Free Hospital will also be screened.
Ethan, aged nine, from Deepcar, Sheffield, was born with a rare congenital condition which affects the structure of his face.
His hemi-facial microsomia – a strain of Goldenhar Syndrome – meant his right ear was originally little more than a lobe, and he has no hearing on his right side.
In the past Ethan wore his hair long in a bid to cover up the right side of his head.
But now he is sporting a shorter new style after undergoing surgery to create an ear using cartilage from his ribs.
The procedure was carried out by surgeon Greg O’Toole, who trained at Sheffield University’s medical school before working as a house officer at the Northern General Hospital.
Mr O’Toole said it was great to see the positive impact of surgery on child patients.
He said: “This really is a life-changing operation for them. We see children who are initially introverted, who will not go swimming, who grow their hair long and who are socially quite distressed.
“But they have the surgery and they are absolutely changed.
“We can see that in Ethan – he is loving life and full of confidence. It’s great for the patient, and it’s also very rewarding from my point of view.”
Ethan’s mum Kathryn, 33, said her son was very excited about his television debut.
She said: “It is a little nerve-wracking but it’s also very, very exciting. Ethan has been quite enjoying his celebrity status since his story appeared in The Star so he’s really looking forward to it!
“He’s been telling his friends all about it so they will all tune in and that’s a big thing for Ethan – for such a long time he just wanted to stay under the radar.
“Now, because of the operation, he is full of confidence and it’s wonderful to see.”
Kathryn is organising a family fun day this summer in support of the Goldenhar Support Group, after a successful event last August.
Log on to www.goldenhar.org for more information about the organisation or call Kathryn on 07855 338897 to help with the fun day.