Here at BHI, plastic surgery isn't just about Hollywood beauty. Sometimes rare, precious cases come our way, which allow us to restore someone's life through surgery. Whether it's due to severe trauma or illness, there are times when we as surgeons can bring our patients happiness and success through cosmetic procedures. This was the case with Tatiana Kline, a burn victim who was brought to our attention at the age of four, in 1991.
Born Tatiana Guillaume, her life was forever changed at the age of one. After being left home alone while her mother worked, baby Tatiana reached up to the stove and pulled a pot of boiling oil onto her head, burning her scalp to the bone. Prevailing skin grafting procedures at the time would not have prevented her from being scarred for life. There was no chance she would ever be able to grow hair on the affected side of her head.
Tatiana came to Dr. Mayer three years later through the efforts of former M*A*S*H star MacLean Stevenson and Richard Grossman, M.D. and television producer and Tatiana's adopted father, Richard Kline, who first brought the tiny burn victim to the attention of Stevenson.
Upon Dr. Mayer's examination and free donation, Tatiana was given a scalp expansion procedure, pioneered by Dr. Mayer, and BHI's co-director, Dr. Richard Fleming, along with a Fleming/Mayer Flap. The Fleming/Mayer Flap has given Tatiana her own full head of hair, which would have been impossible without Dr. Mayer.
What was a tragic beginning initially has been the catalyst for Tatiana's incredible life in the United States, and success thereafter.
Now in her twenties, Tatiana has gone on to achieve wonderful things in her home in the United States. Excelling in college at the University of Michigan, Tatiana has proven herself a leader; earning scholarships, awards (both scholastic and athletic) and has even been accepted to the prestigious North Eastern University in Boston in the hopes of earning a law degree.
Tatiana's success is not only a source of pride for all of us. Her burns and subsequent procedures provided her with enough confidence to go out in the world and go far. When worthy causes intersect with plastic surgery, it's a beautiful thing.