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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Woman known as ‘Napalm girl’ in Vietnam War picture receives final laser treatment in Miami – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

MIAMI (WSVN) – A picture in time of the Vietnam War 50 years later, as the “Napalm girl” received her last laser treatment in South Florida from a world renowned doctor specializing in burns.  

To the world, she is “Napalm girl,” the girl in the picture taken during the Vietnam War. Now she is Kim Phuc. Fifty years later, removed from the infamous photo being taken, she has come to Miami for her last reconstructive laser treatment. 

Being the anniversary month of the event, Phuc told the story of that day.

“Well June 8th, 1972, I never forget,” Kim Phuc, known as “Napalm girl.” “I saw the airplane, and I saw four bombs landing like that and I heard the noise, and then suddenly, there was fire everywhere around me.”

The 59-year-old suffered severe injuries, with 65% of her body burned. Five years ago, she met Dr. Jill Waibel, a world renowned doctor who specializes in treatment in burns and trauma scars. Dr. Waibel still treats Phuc to this day.

“She offered her treatment to me, and we have done for 11 laser treatment already, and today I am so happy to go back to do the 12th time,” said Phuc.

Nick Ut, the photographer who took the Pulitzer Prize winning photo, took Phuc to the hospital that day and saved her life. He has been there every step of the way during her treatment.

“Yeah I am so happy,” said Ut. “The first treatment in Miami, am I here too with her, but she look better. I’m really so happy. Look, she’s always smiling.”

Phuc is so grateful for her treatment the help she has received. Now, she has a message against war. 

“But now 50 years later, I am not longer a victim of war, I am not ‘Napalm girl,’” said Phuc. “Now, I am a friend, I am a helper, I am a mother, I am a grandmother and i am a survivor calling out for peace.”

Phuc started a foundation in 1996 named the Kim Phuc Foundation, where she helps children who have become victims of war. Her mission is to restore hope and happiness to those children’s lives.

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