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Vietnam War 'Napalm Girl' Gets Final Burn Treatment 50 Years After Horrific Moment

Charisa Bossinakis

| Last updated 

Vietnam War 'Napalm Girl' Gets Final Burn Treatment 50 Years After Horrific Moment

Kim Phuc has received her last skin treatment 50 years after being severely burned by a napalm blast during the Vietnam War. 

CBS News reports that the woman, known as ‘Napalm Girl’ for the war-defining photo, returned to Miami Dermatology & Laser Institute to go through her final treatment.

She shared she had visited the institute 12 times and her ‘pain is so much better’.

Following the skin procedures, the 59-year-old will only have to undergo minor laser treatments.


Dr Jill Waibel, who performed the groundbreaking treatments, told CBS4: "The main laser is a fractional blade laser, and it vaporizes the scar tissue.

"So I always say it's like boiling water on the stove, it literally steams it up but they're the tiniest holes the human body has ever seen, and the human body is able to heal that."

Journalist Nick Ut took The Pulitzer Prize-winning photo on June 8, 1972 and captured the moment Phuc, then just 9 years old, was running away in horror after the explosion.


Phuc vividly remembers the day, telling CBS News while playing at a near bomb shelter; she suddenly saw South Vietnamese soldiers telling her and the children to run.

Credit: Nick Ut
Credit: Nick Ut

She said: "And I look up I saw the airplane and four bombs landing like that.”

After the attack, Ut took Phuc and other injured children to a nearby hospital.


Ut recalled to CBS4: “Even the doctor said she will die, no way she still alive.

"I tell them three time and they said no, then I hold my media pass and I said if she dies my picture on every front page on every newspaper. And they worry when I say that and took her right away inside.”

Phuc’s last treatment comes only a few weeks after the photo’s 50th anniversary.

While speaking with ABC News, the woman who became a symbol of the devastating effects of the Vietnam War said that Ut saved her life and the two remain friends still today.


"I'm so thankful that I'm still alive and I'm so thankful for him to be there at that moment, to do his job as a photographer," she said.

"I came from that picture as the victim of war and [it had a] big impact [all] over the world, it touched people's heart[s] and but right now after 50 years I am no longer a victim of war." 

Featured Image Credit: Nick Ut. miamidermlaser/Instagram.

Topics: News, World News, Science

Charisa Bossinakis
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