People who are born with facial birthmarks may very likely feel quite uncomfortable whenever they’re outside and find others staring at them. One woman in the United Kingdom who felt this way ended up undergoing 18 surgeries to remove her marks over a 14-year period, and today, she’s looking wonderful. Nevertheless, she has a message of hope to share with the world.
Even since the day Cody Hall, of Corby, Northamptonshire, was born, people often stared at her face whenever her parents took her out. That was due to her severe birthmark, thought to be a hemangioma, which was so massive that it distorted the left side of her face and pushed her nose to one side.
“In England, our neighbor asked my wife if we put a bag over (Cody’s) head when we took her out,” her father, Tony Hall, said in a 1993 interview with Orlando Sentinel. “The hardest thing is the stares and comments from the ignorant people in this world who don’t understand what’s going on with her.”
Doctors told the family that there was nothing that they could do to help the little girl.
However, the family raised 230,000 pounds (approx. US$318,510) and took her to Roosevelt Hospital in New York in 1993 for her first treatment. She was just a 1-year-old at the time.
Over the next 14 years, she underwent 18 operations to correct her disfigured face through facelifts, skin grafts, liposuction, rhinoplasty, dermabrasion, eye surgery, and laser surgery.
“We want to be able to show people how she has turned out and just how great she looks,” her mother, Theresa, told the Telegraph in 2008.
Her father said: “She has grown up to be a well adjusted young lady. We feared for her future. We didn’t know what the future held for her but there was always hope.”
Cody also recalled how she felt when growing up.
“When I started at secondary school I did get a lot of people asking questions and in the street there would be people staring,” she said.
“All the attention would sometimes get me upset and I would come home and say I didn’t like it. But over the years people have realized I am who I am.
“I get people coming up to me in the street and saying ‘well done’ and that they are pleased for me.”
Fast-forward to 2017, Cody married the love of her life, Lewis Holt, her boyfriend of eight years, at St. Michael’s Church in Great Oakley.
“It was an emotional day and there were some tears, especially when I saw Lewis at the altar, but only tears of joy,” the 25-year-old, who now works in a surgical ward in Kettering General Hospital, said, as reported by SWNS.
“I just want to show people that there is a happy ending.”