A photo is being shared on social media claiming it to be the picture of a US soldier who lost an ear in a car crash and underwent an ear reconstruction surgery on arm. This post claims that US Army doctors have created a new ear and performed first-of-its-kind surgery transplanting an ear inside a soldier’s arm. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Photo of a US soldier who received a new ear on his arm.
Fact: The photo shared in the post shows Stelarc, an Australian artist and a professor at Curtin University in Perth, who intentionally grew an extra third ear on his arm to enable a wireless connection to the internet, making his ear a remote listening device for people in other places. The US soldier to whom army doctors reconstructed an ear on her left arm is a woman named Shamika Burrage. The photo and the story shared in the post are unrelated. Hence, the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
When we searched to check whether any US soldier had undergone a such type of surgery, we found multiple news reports about the US soldier who undergone an ear reconstruction surgery on the forearm. They can be seen here, here and here. According to these news reports, US Army soldier Shamika Burrage lost her left ear in 2016, during a car accident in Texas. Plastic surgeons at an Army medical centre in Texas reportedly performed a successful ear reconstruction surgery on Shamika Burrage’s forearm to make her listen.
An interview of Shamika Burrage and her surgeon Lt. Col. Owen Johnson telecasted on the ‘TODAY’ YouTube channel can be seen here.
On reverse image search of the photo shared in the post, the same photo is found in an article published by the ‘Independent’ news website on 12 August 2015. This news article reported it as a picture of Stelarc, an Australian artist and a professor at Curtin University in Perth, who intentionally implanted an extra third ear on his arm to enable wireless connection to the internet, making his ear a remote listening device for people in other places. Further information related to Stelarc’s ear on arm can be seen here.
To sum it up, this photo does not show the US army soldier who had undergone an ear reconstruction surgery on the forearm.