UF Health Plastic Surgeon Saves Little Girl’s Leg
For young Jennyfer Carranza, an ordinary day playing in the yard quickly turned catastrophic when she got too close to her father’s lawn mower. Jennyfer’s shoelaces got caught in the mower’s blades, pulling her closer to the machine and slicing a deep cut into one of her heels.
“One doesn’t expect that type of thing to happen, and it’s even worse when it happens to your child,” said Jennyfer’s mother, Laura.
Jennyfer’s parents brought her to UF Health, where Harvey Chim, M.D., a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in lower extremity reconstruction and limb salvage, was called in to evaluate the leg wound and determine what options were available for the little girl.
It was an emotional experience for the UF Health team, Chim said, with some calling for a foot amputation. Chim, with hopes to help Jennyfer run and play freely again, decided to perform a free flap procedure, a surgery involving skin grafting to reconstruct Jennyfer’s ankle and cover her wound.
“These are complicated procedures, but in a center such as ours, where we do them often and we have the experience and expertise, patients can expect a very good outcome,” said Chim, an associate professor in the UF College of Medicine’s department of surgery.
The decision Chim made allowed Jennyfer to regain her mobility, keep her foot and go back to living the way she used to. Her parents couldn’t be more grateful.
“She has gone back to living her normal life. She can run,” said Jennyfer’s father, Isaac. “I don’t have enough to give for all that they have done for my daughter.”