'Napalm Girl' completes skin treatment half a century after the famous photo was taken

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'Napalm Girl' completes skin treatment half a century after the famous photo was taken
'Napalm Girl' completes skin treatment half a century after the famous photo was taken
30 June, 19:26In the worldPhoto: AFP
Vietnamese Phan Thi Kim Phuc is the subject of one of the most famous war photographs in history. On June 8, 1972, when she was 9 years old, Kim Phuc was bombed during a battle between units of the North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese armies.

Napalm burned her clothes, but the girl's legs were not injured, and she was able to run to people, shouting: Nóng quá, nóng quá ("Too hot, too hot"). Someone poured water over her, wanting to alleviate the torment, Kim Fook caught fire again and fainted. Her mother found her in the hospital three days later, when the girl's skin began to rot.

Photographer Nick Ut caught the moment when the scorched Kim Phuc ran along the road with other children. His picture "Napalm in Vietnam" was on the cover of The New York Times and brought the author a Pulitzer Prize, and Kim Phuc became famous as Napalm Girl.

Photo:Getty

The girl's body was covered in third-degree burns, but she survived. In the first 14 months, Kim Fook underwent 16 operations, and after leaving the hospital, she suffered from depression for a long time, because her friends turned away from her because of her disfigured appearance. For most of her life, she also suffered from chronic pain, the result of a burn. Pain, aggravated by certain movements, almost drove her to suicide in her youth. In Vietnam, she was called the "national symbol of war", used for propaganda and did not let her step aside. In 1992, as part of a global propaganda campaign, she and her husband were sent on a round-the-world trip from Havana to Moscow, and during a stopover in Canada, they asked for asylum. Now they live with two children in the suburbs of Toronto.

Kim Phook continues to keep in touch with Nick Ut, whom he considers his savior - taking a photo, he took her to the hospital. She calls him "Uncle Ut" and he considers her his daughter. “I remember at times I hated him,” Kim Fook admitted at the time. And I hated that photo too. "I'm a little girl," I thought. - I'm naked. Why did he take this picture? Why didn't my parents protect me? Why did he print this photo? Why was I the only naked child when all my brothers in this photo were in clothes? I was ashamed, I felt like a freak".

In 2015, in pain, she turned to a Miami clinic, and doctors who knew her history offered her free skin treatment. This week, 50 years after the napalm attack, Kim Phook underwent her last treatment, according to the Daily Mail. “Now, 50 years later, I am no longer a war victim, a napalm girl”m - she says. “Now I am a friend, helper, grandmother, I am a person who managed to survive and calls for peace”.

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