After taking 50 years to overcome her burn injury, Kim Phuc PhanThi, known as ‘Napalm Girl,’ is finally free

Kim Phuc Phan Thi, known as ‘Napalm Girl,’ was playing with her mates close to a bomb shelter when a napalm bomb struck her Vietnam village. She was burned and the pain was quite unbearable for a little girl.

She told CBS4, “Then, I remember after lunch, the South Vietnamese soldiers yell for the children to run.”

Phan Thi’s legs weren’t so fast and her clothes were burned off her body.

Pier Marco Tacca / Contributor / Getty Images

“I still remember what I thought that moment, oh my goodness I got burned then I will be ugly then people will see me a different way.”

She was feeling pain and was still running as fast as she can and that was when 20-year-old AP photographer Nick Ut captured her in a picture as well as others that were fleeing from the war.

Bettmann / Contributor / Getty Images

Nick went on to pour water on her body and took her to a nearby hospital with other kids. The burn was severe and no one believed she was going to survive.

“Even the doctor said she will die, no way she is still alive. I tell them three-time and they said no, then I hold my media pass and I said if she dies my picture was on every front page of every newspaper.  And they worry when I say that and took her right away inside,” Ut said.

Phan ti said, “To be honest he saved my life, and he became a part of my family.”


Phan wrote for The New York Times, “Growing up, I sometimes wished to disappear not only because of my injuries — the burns scarred a third of my body and caused intense chronic pain — but also because of the shame and embarrassment of my disfigurement. “I tried to hide my scars under my clothes. I had horrific anxiety and depression. Children in school recoiled from me. I was a figure of pity to neighbors and, to some extent, my parents. As I got older, I feared that no one would ever love me.”

Phan ti went on to undergo treatments to lessen the pain she felt. She received 12 specialized laser treatments which were put in place to smoothen and soften her skin.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of Phan Thi known as The Terror of War will always be a remembrance of the effects of war. One of the victims was Phan Ti who got her last treatment last Tuesday according to Miami Dermatology & Laser Institute. For 50 years of her life she had to deal with physical and emotional pain.

Let’s embrace peace.

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