Cruel trolls accused an Aussie mum of being a monster for lasering her son’s port-wine stain birthmark on his face.
Brooke Atkins, 33, is a stay-at-home mom from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, who shares two children with her 27-year-old partner, Kewene Wallace.
They have a three-year-old daughter, Amarni, and a one-year-old baby boy named, Kingsley.
When Kingsley was born last year in January 2022, the little boy had a large port-wine birthmark on his face that covered nearly half of it.
These stains are usually harmless, but if they happen to be on the face or the eye area, they could sometimes cause glaucoma that affects vision and could lead to blindness and a rare neurological disorder called Sturge-Weber Syndrome.
Unfortunately, Brooke’s baby boy was diagnosed with both.
“The thing with port wine stains is that they are progressive, meaning they will change and darken over time,” the mum told NeedToKnow.online.
“They can develop a “cobblestone” appearance, with raised bumps, ridges and the risk of vascular blebs, where they dangerously bleed. Once a port wine stain gets to this stage, it is often very difficult to treat and laser barely has any affect, as the skin is already far too damaged,” she added.
“The only way to treat a port wine stain is through laser treatments and the most effective laser for a it is called a Pulsed Dye Laser.”
The family decided to go for the laser treatment in May last year.
“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 detail why laser would be important,” Atkins said.
“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.”
Kingsley’s treatment is ongoing, and his parents are very happy with the results.
But Brooke and Kewene faced severe backlash on social media after they shared about his laser treatment on TikTok.
“I think this is just wrong, they should wait until he is 18 and can decide for himself if he want it removed or not. Hate when parents decide,” one person wrote.
“That birthmark is barely visible, what you’re doing to him is horrible, it’s more for you than him,” a second said.
“Did you deadass laser a baby?” another asked.
“Brainwashed mother making her kid insecure the second he gets out the womb,” wrote another.
The mum-of-two said about the online trolling, “Honestly, when I first started reading the negative comments, I sat there for a good half an hour and cried to myself.”
“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.”
“Thankfully for every negative comment, there were 100 positive, so it helped a lot!”
She added that many people don’t know the intensity of health hazards attached to these birthmarks.
“I just wish these people had known about the health issues connected to these types of birthmarks before writing these things, that this wasn’t for cosmetic reasons and that as parents, this was the hardest decision we have had to make.”
“That the last six months have been extremely hard on us and reading these comments, actually do hurt – this is the last thing we need, judgement from those who have no understanding around my sons conditions.”
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