Mother’s Courage: Defying Ridicule to Protect ‘The Masked Boy’ and His Unique Birthmarks

A mum who trolls branded a ‘monster’ for removing her baby’s facial birthmark with laser therapy has revealed a major ‘win’ for her son’s health.

Brooke Atkins, 33, gave a social media update, sharing that Kingsley, now 18 months old, has gone an entire month without a seizure.

“This is the longest he has gone seizure-free since September last year,” the proud mum wrote. “We know it won’t last forever but will take the small wins as they come!”

The youngster was born in January 2022 with a large port wine birthmark across half of his face. Concerned about the possible side effects, Brooke and her partner Kewene Wallace chose to have it lasered off.

Port wine stains – a vascular birthmark caused by abnormal development of blood vessels in the skin – are usually nothing to worry about and around three in every 1000 children have one.

 

Kingsley was born with the port wine birthmark ( Image: Jam Press Vid/@kingsley_colvin)

Often they cause no health issues, but this was not the case for Kingsley ( Image: Jam Press Vid/@kingsley_colvin)

However stains involving the upper part of the face can be linked to glaucoma, which can lead to blindness, and Sturge-Weber Syndrome, which can cause seizures and impair brain function. Kingsley was diagnosed with both conditions.

On her decision, the mum, from the Gold Coast, explained last year: “The only way to treat a port wine stain is through laser treatments and the most effective laser for it is called a Pulsed Dye Laser. When he was first born, we were referred to the Queensland Children’s Hospital dermatology and vascular department where they organised the first treatment and explain in further details why laser would be important.

“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.” Her little boy’s birthmark started off as a light blotchy patch at first but it soon darkened over time.

Now a year-and-a-half later, the stain has almost disappeared, while his risk of health complications has also been reduced. At the time of the laser surgery, Brooke spoke out about the online abuse she received after sharing updates about her son’s condition on TikTok, as trolls criticised her and called her a “monster” for choosing to put her son through treatment.

One person said: “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.”

Kingsley’s birthmark has almost vanished ( Image: Brooke Atkins)Brooke said earlier this year: “I think this is what people were against, that he wasn’t under general anaesthetic – he was awake – it is less risk for him because he’s not under anaesthetic and the whole process is under two minutes so it’s a lot quicker.

“They didn’t think it was right that he could feel everything – he had numbing cream on but people were against it, they called it abuse. They said my child should be taken off me, I’m a horrible mother, I’m doing it for vanity reasons, I should let him choose when he’s older, decide if he wants to get rid of it.

“It’s just a lot of uneducated comments, but all from a concerned point towards my son, they were almost trying to stick up for my son but not realising they were doing more damage. At first I would just cry, I would get so upset, my partner would ask me to ignore it, saying they didn’t know what they were talking about, and we were taking professional advice.

The parents decided to opt for the surgery due to health complications linked to the stain ( Image: Jam Press/@kingsley_colvin)

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Kai

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