Kim Phuc, who is known as the "Napalm Girl" from the iconic Vietnam War photograph, has received her final skin treatment with a burn specialist in South Florida 50 years later.
Phuc was just 9 years old when a napalm bomb struck her village in Vietnam on June 8, 1972. As she fled from the blast, Phuc was captured in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo that immortalized the moment — one that stands as a lasting reminder of the horrors of war.
"I heard the noise, bup-bup bup-bup, and then suddenly there was fire everywhere around me, and I saw the fire all over my arm," Phuc recalled.
She suffered burns on 65% of her body. For Phuc, now 59, the scars from that horrific have also lingered.
This week, she underwent her 12th — and final — course of a laser procedure at the Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute to treat her scars and the pain she still feels five decades later.
Phuc was also reunited with the Associated Press photographer, Nick Ut, who took the photo. The two recalled their fateful encounter.
"When she was running, I saw her arm burning, her body burning so badly," said Ut, who Phuc credits for saving her life.
"After he took my picture, he saw me burned so severely, he put down his camera and he rushed me to nearest hospital," Phuc said.
At first, the hospital wouldn't treat her and told Ut to drive another two hours to a different medical facility.
"I get upset, I [held] my media pass, I say 'I'm media, if she die my picture's going to be on the front page of every newspaper tomorrow,' and they worry about I say that and they took her right away inside," Ut said.
Phuc lived but her scars remain, both emotional and physical, and she has suffered suffered excruciating pain for decades.
With advancements in laser technology, Phuc has been able to at least heal some of the physical scars, thanks to Dr. Jill Waibel.
"It used to be that everyone with an injury like Kim's would pass away and so we are blessed now that we can keep people alive, but we really have to help them thrive and live," Waibel said.
Phuc, who now lives in Toronto, and Ut, who lives in Los Angeles, have made it their life mission to spread a message of peace.
"I’m really so happy to see her, we’re like family now," Ut said.
"I wish everyone learning how to live with love, hope and forgiveness and if everyone can learn to live like that we don’t need war at all," Phuc said.
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