An Aussie mom, who was slammed by trolls for removing a port-wine stain birthmark from her baby’s face, says she did it for the health of her child.
Brooke Atkins, 33, gave birth to her second child — a baby boy named Kingsley — in January and noticed half his face was covered by a birthmark.
Port-wine stain birthmarks are usually harmless, but if they are over the eye — as Kingsley’s is — they can be linked to glaucoma and Sturge-Weber syndrome.
The conditions can cause seizures and other disabilities while glaucoma can cause blindness. Since the tot was diagnosed with both, the parents made the decision to get laser treatment at the end of May.
“When he was first born, we were referred to the Queensland Children’s Hospital dermatology and vascular department, where they organize the first treatment and explain in further details why laser would be important,” Atkins explained to NeedToKnow.online.
“The purpose of the laser treatments are not to ‘remove’ the birthmark but instead keep the skin healthy, to prevent any further damage to the area.”
Although the laser treatment was in the best interest of her baby boy, TikTok critics have slammed the mom of two; labeling her a “monster” for giving her baby laser surgery.
“Don’t think I could laser my baby,” one user wrote.
“Brainwashed mother making her kid insecure the second he gets out the womb,” said another.
“Why is everyone supporting this,” another commented.
The mom, who also shares 2-year-old daughter Amarni with her partner Kewene Wallace, admits the negative comments made her question her decision.
“Honestly, when I first started reading the negative comments, I sat there for a good half an hour and cried to myself,” she said.
“I had a whole heap of mum guilt, and it made me question my decision. Even though I knew I was doing the right thing, the cruel words still played in my head.”
However, with more than 32,700 people following little Kingsley’s journey on social media, supporters have left plenty of positive comments on the mom’s videos.
“You’re the mom and you know what is the best for him,” one user assured her.
“I would have done the same thing and wished I had a strong mum like you to help educate,” agreed another.
“I never realized it could affect health!? Thank you for the video he is adorable!” another user wrote.
According to the Mayo Clinic, sometimes port-wine stains occur with Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome or Sturge-Weber syndrome, which require regular medical evaluation.
However, Atkins says Kingsley is thriving so far and responding well to the treatments with the next laser appointment scheduled in August.
“Over 20 hospital appointments, two different hospitals, over 10 different specialists and doctors, five different medical departments, three MRI’s, one ultrasound, two hearing tests, two operations, two laser treatments and three diagnoses, all in six months – yet he is the happiest, most loving and sweetest boy you will ever meet!” she gushes.