Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ugly duckling

My Dad, who is visiting, told me that when my niece (now a teenager) was a little girl, she began telling him a story by saying, "One uponce a time..." Well, here's a fairy tale about a British baby born with an unfortunately placed benign tumor (1st image) who has been transformed into a beautiful swan (2nd image). Connie Lloyd, dubbed by the media the "clown girl," endured pointing, stares, and comments for the first 3 years of her life. But her parents Zara and Tom Lloyd of Slough, Berkshire, finally found a surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital willing to remove the benign but dangerous hemangiona, which had been visible as a spot on her ultrasound (photo here). It grew to cover her entire button nose. "We were constantly worried. The doctors said if she cut or grazed it, she could bleed to death. There were treatments to stop it getting bigger but nothing to get rid of it," explain the Lloyds. "By the time Connie was 4 weeks old her nose was a perfect clown's nose and not only was the birthmark growing externally, but internally too," says her Mom. The 2-hour surgery left Connie with only a small scar. "When she came out of the operation she said her nose was like her mum's. Now she is doing really well, she has a big group of friends and we are so proud of her. She is very intelligent. It's nice not to have to deal with the cruel comments any more but red nose or not Connie has always been our perfect little girl."

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