As a little girl, Kim Phuc loved to climb up trees. After the South Vietnamese military dropped napalm on her village, Trang Bang, on June 8, 1972, Phuc’s skin was partly destroyed and she was no longer able to play many of her favorite games.
Forty years later, the woman who was famously photographed by AP photojournalist Nick Ut, and now lives in Canada, is undergoing laser treatments at Miami’s Dermatology Institute. The treatments will continue for the next seven months.
“So many years I thought that I have no more scars, no more pain when I’m in heaven. But now – heaven on earth for me!” Phuc told the Associated Press upon her arrival in Miami.
Phuc began treatment on Sept. 26, 2015 and the Miami Institute is anticipating that Phuc will undergo six to nine treatments depending on the results.
“I am hoping to decrease Kim’s pain and improve the texture of her scars,” Dr. Jill Waibel told ABC News in a written statement.
Dr. Waibel explained to ABC News that she will be using a series of lasers on Phuc to boost her natural collagen.
“Fractional lasers produce tiny injuries in the skin, which vaporize the scar tissue and then within a few months these areas heal with a new normal collagen,” Dr. Waibel explained. “Most patients report substantial improvement in sensory symptoms—pain, burning, and itching—and physical mobility within days to weeks after each treatment.”
This type of treatment typically costs $1,500 to $2,000 per session but Dr. Waibel offered to donate her services when Phuc reached out to her for a consultation.