A TWO-YEAR-OLD boy who suffered horrific burns has made a full recovery after doctors sprayed on a new layer of his own skin.
Zed Merrick was rushed to the Pinderfields children’s burns unit last October after knocking over a scalding cup of tea which left him with severe chest burns.
But using pioneering treatment, surgeons were able to spray back on the toddler’s own skin using a solution of his cells.
Four months since the operation it is almost impossible to tell Zed went through the trauma.
At first his parents Nicky and Chunky Merrick feared Zed would be left scarred for life.
Mrs Merrick, 33, said: “He’s so quick and it all happened in the space of a second.
“At first all I wanted was for my little boy to be okay and not upset, but then I started thinking about the consequences.
“As soon as the paramedics saw Zed they started talking about Wakefield, and we took him to Pinderfields that night.”
Zed was treated within 24 hours and spent just five days in hospital following the £5,000 operation.
Mrs Merrick, who is disabled and runs an online business selling handcrafted products, said: “He is doing fantastically well now.
“He has always just got on with it and has never really let it bother him.
“But we owe so much to the hospital and surgeons. They saved Zed from a lifetime of scarring and emotional torment.”
Consultant plastic surgeon Jeremy Rawlins introduced the treatment to Pinderfields when he started working there in 2010 and said he hoped it would become more widespread.
He said: “Burns victims normally require lots of dressings and skin grafts, and as they grow the scars need follow-up treatment.
“But with this new technique less of the tissue is lost, less becomes infected. It saves a bit of money too as there is less medication and less time in hospital.
“Zed was lucky in that I was around at the time and we could get things started the following day. If I had been on annual leave he would not have been able to have the treatment.
“At the moment we are limited by resources and people with the right knowledge. We are trying very hard to have more registrars trained up in this treatment but there is a learning curve.
“Few doctors are using it in this country and I am unique in the way that I use it very early in a child’s injuries. But I really hope people can see the benefits of treating people in this way.
“Kids tend to have injuries that lend itself well to this treatment but it can be used on adults too.