Story. 50 years later, the little girl with napalm has completed her convalescence

On June 8, 1972, the village of Trảng Bàng, south of Vietman, was bombarded by the American army. The inhabitants of the village, burned with napalm, fled at full speed. Among them: a 9-year-old girl. The napalm has destroyed her clothes and she runs, naked, her arms outstretched, her face contorted in pain.

Nick Ut, a photojournalist, immortalizes this moment on film. After which he decides to take the child to the hospital, where a doctor says she is doomed and refuses to help her. Nick Ut insists, and the little girl, named Phan Thị Kim Phuc, finally receives the care she needs. After 17 surgeries and 14 months of hospitalization, she was finally out of the woods.

Scars over a third of his body

Meanwhile, the snapshot taken by the photojournalist goes around the world, and even earns its author the Pulitzer Prize. Fifty years later, the photo, titled The Terror of War and better known as Napalm Girlremains unquestionably one of the most striking images of the Vietnam War.

Phan Thị Kim Phuc, known as Kim Phuc, is now 59 years old. A mother of two boys, she fled Vietnam in 1992 and took refuge in Canada. Throughout her life, the burns caused by napalm never ceased to make her suffer. “A third of my body is covered with scars and I have intense chronic pain,” she said in early June in the New York Times.

Pain that she now supports better thanks to an innovative laser treatment that she received in Miami by doctor Jill Waibel. The dermatologist has decided to voluntarily treat the one she considers a symbol of peace and hope, reports CBS.

This symbolic role, Kim Phuc has not always wanted, far from it. When she was still a child, she resented Nick Ut for taking her picture. “I was like, ‘I’m a naked little girl. Why did he take this photo? Why didn’t my parents protect me? Why did he publish it? Why am I the only one without clothes when my brothers and cousins ​​in the photo are dressed?” I felt ugly and I was ashamed, ”she says in the New York Times.

If she has always been “grateful” to the photojournalist for having saved her life, Kim Phuc took time before accepting the shot. Now, she perceives “the power of this photo” which represents “(s)his story”. The 50-year-old has kept in touch with Nick Ut. “She looks better, she’s so happy, she’s always smiling,” he told CBS.

The terrified little girl is no longer one. “I am now a friend, a helper, a grandmother and a survivor who calls for peace,” Phan Thị Kim Phuc told our colleagues. The one who created the Kim Foundation International – an organization that helps children who are victims of war – is now defending the photo that shocked her yesterday: “We must confront violence and the first step is look in the eye,” she wrote in the New York Times days after the killings in Uvalde, Texas.

“The idea of ​​sharing the images of carnage, especially those of children’s bodies, is perhaps unbearable, but we must confront it”, insisted the one who remains “convinced that peace, love, hope and forgiveness will always be stronger than weapons. »

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Story. 50 years later, the little girl with napalm has completed her convalescence