People criticize this mother for removing a birthmark from her son's face with a laser. "The motivation is not what they believe it to be"
The desire to have a child is something many - if not most - couples want. The joys are endless when raising a child, but so are the responsibilities, and keeping everything under control can be challenging. The thing you want most of a child, is that they are healthy, happy and prepared for life.
The mother in this story realized that her baby had a potentially serious health problem and made a decision that drew a storm of criticism. Let's see what happened:
Brooke Atkins, is a 33 year old mum who lives with her family on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Without wanting to, Brooke has become very well known on the web for a choice she made regarding her second son Kingsley. When Kingsley was born, doctors immediately noticed dark stains on his face. A very large patch covered half of his face.
These marks are known as a port-wine stains. This condition affects newborn babies and is due to a malformation of the blood vessels. Usually not a problem on other parts of the body, it can be an issue when it appears on the face, especially around the eyes. In cases like these, the birthmark could be a sign of Sturge-Weber syndrome, a condition that can cause glaucoma.
Not wanting little Kingsley to develop visual impairment, Brooke and father, Kewene Wallace, decided to have the birthmark treated. "When he was born, we were referred to the dermatological and vascular department of Queensland Children's Hospital where they explained the importance of using a laser in these circumstances. The sessions are not intended to remove the birthmark, but simply to keep the skin healthy, preventing further damage to the surrounding areas," Brooke said.
But many people opposed Brooke's decision. They considered the treatment as excessive and accused the parents of having done this purely for aesthetic reasons. But this was not case, and Brooke was very upset by these allegations.
"I felt a lot of guilt and the critics made me doubt myself. I knew it was the right thing to do, but their words kept echoing in my mind," Brooke said.
Luckily there were also those who understood the medical reasons for the treatment and condemned those that called Brooke "a monster". "You are the mother and only you know what is best for your child," said one person in one of many other supportive comments Brooke received.
In this mom and dad's place, would you have acted the same way if the doctors had told you it was the only way to help your child?