An Australian mom says mean internet trolls called her a “monster” because she removed “her baby’s facial birthmark with a laser. She says she did it to help her child”.
“Brooke Atkins, 33, is a stay-at-home mom from Gold Coast. Six months ago, she” had “her second child, a boy named Kingsley.
But soon after he was born, Brooke and her partner, Kewene Wallace, 27, saw a huge “port wine” mark that covered half of his face”.
Port-wine stain birthmarks are usually safe, but “they can be linked to glaucoma and Sturge-Weber Syndrome” if they are on the face, especially over the eye.
“”They can get a “cobblestone” look, with raised bumps, ridges, and the chance of seriously bleeding vascular blebs”.
“Once a port wine stain gets to this point, it’s usually very hard to get rid of, and laser rarely works because the skin is already too damaged.”
She then chose to treat Kingsley’s mark with a laser.
“The only way to get rid of a port wine stain is to use a laser, and the best laser for that is called a Pulsed Dye Laser.”
“”When he was first born, we were told to go to the” dermatologist and vascular department at the Queensland Children’s Hospital. There, they set up the first treatment and explain in more detail why laser is important.
“The goal of the laser treatments is not to “get rid of” the birthmark, but to keep the skin healthy and stop any more damage from happening in that area.”
Kingsley is getting care right now, and his family is amazed by him every day.
But trolls on TikTok have called Brooke “a “monster” after she shared a post about” how she decided to treat the mark.
“Don’t think I could laser my baby,” said one person.
Another person said, “That birthmark is barely visible. What you’re doing to him is horrible, and it’s more for you than for him.”
“Brainwashed mother making her kid feel unsafe as soon as he comes out of the womb,” said someone else.
Someone else asked, “Why does everyone agree with this?”
While some people were quick to back her up.
Someone told her, “You’re his mother, so you know what’s best for him.”
Another person said, “He would have been beautiful even with the birthmark.”
Brooke said this about how people have responded to her online: “When I first started reading the bad comments, I sat there for a good half an hour and cried to myself.”
“I felt a lot of mom guilt, and even though I knew I was doing the right thing, the cruel words kept playing in my head.”
“Thank goodness, for every bad comment, there were 100 good ones, so it really helped!”
“I just wish these people had known that these kinds of birthmarks can cause health problems, that this wasn’t done for cosmetic reasons, and that as parents, this was the hardest decision we’ve ever had to make.”
“The last six months have been very hard for us, and it hurts to read these comments. The last thing we need is judgment from people who don’t know what’s going on with my son.”
She also said, “I worry about my son’s future and what it will be like all the time, but he keeps reaching all his milestones.”
“This is just the beginning of a long journey for our family, but we will make it!
“He has had more than 20 hospital visits, two different hospitals, more than ten different specialists and doctors, five different medical departments, three MRIs, one ultrasound, two hearing tests, two operations, two laser treatments, and three diagnoses in six months, but he is the happiest, kindest, and sweetest boy you will ever meet!”