I laser my baby's face to help a huge birthmark - trolls call me a "monster"

I laser my baby’s face to help a huge birthmark – trolls call me a “monster”

A mum has been called a ‘monster’ by trolls after deciding to use laser treatment on her baby’s face.

Little Kingsley was welcomed into the world in January this year by his mother Brooke Atkins, 33, and partner Kewene Wallace, 27.

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Mum Brooke Atkins has been called a freak by trolls after deciding to give her son laser treatmentCredit: Jam Press
Kingsley has a port wine stain birthmark - which can be dangerous if it's above the eyes

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Kingsley has a port wine stain birthmark – which can be dangerous if it’s above the eyesCredit: Jam Press
Laser treatments help keep the skin healthy and prevent further damage to the area

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Laser treatments help keep the skin healthy and prevent further damage to the areaCredit: Jam Press

The family soon learned that their baby boy had a rare disease.

Kingsley had a large mark covering half of his face – the mark is also known as a port wine stain and they are generally harmless.

But if they’re on the face and eyes, they’ve been linked to glaucoma and a rare neurological disorder called Sturge Weber syndrome.

It is a condition that causes seizures and other disabilities, while glaucoma affects vision and can lead to blindness.

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Kingsley unfortunately has both conditions and his mother made the difficult decision on May 31 to use laser treatment on his skin.

Brooke said: “The problem with port wine stains is that they are gradual, which means they will change and darken over time.

“They can develop a ‘cobblestone’ appearance, with raised bumps, ridges and the risk of vascular bullae, where they bleed dangerously.

“Once a port wine stain gets to this stage, it’s often very difficult to treat and the laser has virtually no effect, as the skin is already far too damaged.”

When he was born, the family was referred to the Department of Dermatology and Vascular Medicine at Queensland Children’s Hospital in Australia.

It was there that they held the first treatment and explained in more detail why the laser would be important for little Kingsley.

Brooke said: “The goal of laser treatments is not to ‘remove’ the birthmark, but rather to keep the skin healthy, to prevent further damage to the area.”

The pulsed dye laser is the most effective treatment for the condition, but Brooke has come under fire on social media for her decision to give Kingsley the procedure.

One person said, “I don’t think I could laser my baby.”

Another commented: “That birthmark is barely visible, what you’re doing to him is horrible, it’s more for you than him.”

However, many people were quick to rush to her defense, with many claiming that she was her mother and therefore knew better.

What is a port wine stain?

A port wine stain birthmark is caused by an abnormal development of blood vessels in the skin.

Experts from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) said they usually looked flat and were red or purple.

They explained: “Very occasionally, over time, the port wine stain may become thicker, darken and develop a ‘cobblestone’ appearance with raised bumps and ridges.

“Port wine stains can appear anywhere on the body, mostly on one side of the body, but sometimes on both sides. About 65% of port wine stains are found on the head and the neck.”

Around three in 1,000 children have a port wine stain and girls are twice as likely to get one as men – but it’s unclear why.

Brooke said when she started reading negative comments, she cried to herself.

She said she had a whole lot of mom guilt, which made her question her decision.

Even though she knew she was doing the right thing, she said the cruel worlds were still playing in her head.

“Fortunately, for every negative comment there were 100 positives, so that helped a lot!

“I just wish these people knew about the health issues with these types of birthmarks before writing these things, that it wasn’t for cosmetic reasons and as parents it was the hardest decision we have ever had to make.

“That the last six months have been extremely hard on us and that reading these comments hurt us – that is the last thing we need, the judgment of those who have no understanding of my son’s conditions.

While she says she constantly worries about her son’s future, he continues to hit all his milestones.

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“This journey for our family has just begun and there is a long way to go but we will get through it!

“More than 20 hospital appointments, two different hospitals, more than 10 different specialists and doctors, five different medical services, three MRIs, an ultrasound, two hearing tests, two operations, two laser treatments and three diagnoses, all in six months – and yet he is the happiest, most loving and kindest boy you will ever meet,” she added.

Brooke said that although the journey ahead will be long, the family will continue their treatment

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Brooke said that although the journey ahead will be long, the family will continue their treatmentCredit: Jam Press


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