Adorable Ollie Trezise was born with a rare condition which caused his brain to grow through a crack in his skull into his nose – making it stick out like the Disney character, Pinocchio .
As the lad grew, so did his nose – forcing the 21-month-old to undergo several painful operations to enable him to breathe.
But his mum, Amy Poole, 22, says the brave tot is now bombarded with cruel comments from strangers , who say he is ‘ugly’ and ‘should never have been born’.
Full-time mum-of-two Amy, from Maesteg, Wales, said: “It’s absolutely heart-breaking. Once, a woman told me I should never have given birth to him. I nearly burst into tears.
“To me, Ollie is perfect. He is my little real-life Pinocchio and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Amy first discovered that something was different abut Ollie at her 20-week scan, when doctors told her he had unexpected soft tissue growing on his face.
However, she was still shocked when she gave birth to him at Cardiff University Hospital in February 2014.
Amy, who has since split from Ollie’s dad, said: “When they gave me Ollie to hold, I was so surprised that I almost couldn’t speak.
“He was so tiny, but there was this enormous golf-ball sized lump on his nose.
“At first I wasn’t sure how I would cope. But I knew that I would love him no matter what he looked like.”
An MRI scan later confirmed that the lump was an encephalocele, which is a defect that causes the brain to grow through a hole in the skull , creating a protruding sac.
In Ollie’s case the sac had grown on his nose, causing it to stick out.
Over the next nine months, as Ollie’s body grew, so did his nose – just like Pinocchio.
Doctors told a terrified Amy that they needed to operate on Ollie to open up his nasal passage and enable him to breathe.
Amy said: “I was so scared to let Ollie undergo such major surgery. He was so fragile, and I couldn’t bear the thought of losing him.
“But doctors explained that he was at risk of contracting an infection or even meningitis if he tripped and knocked his nose – so I agreed to the surgery.”
In November 2014, Ollie underwent the successful two-hour operation atBirmingham Children’s Hospital.
The surgery involved cutting open Ollie’s skull to remove the excess sac of brain fluid and rebuild his nose.
Due to the rarity of the condition, treatment is only available at Birmingham and three other specialist centres in the UK: Great Ormond Street, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and The John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Amy said: “After the operation, Ollie had a huge zig-zag scar across his head. He must have been in so much pain, but he just kept smiling and laughing.
“His positivity made it so much easier for me.”
Now fully recovered, Ollie is a bubbly little boy who loves splashing in his paddling pool and playing with his four-year-old sister, Annabelle.
Amy said: “He is such a character and always has me in fits of laughter. Plus he and Annabelle are best friends – they’re always getting up to mischief.
“Annabelle is even jealous of Ollie’s nose as it gets him lots of attention. Sometimes I catch her grabbing it when she thinks I’m not looking.”
Amy is now keen to spread awareness of the condition to prevent other children from being bullied.
She said: “I don’t want other kids to face the nasty comments that Ollie has, and I think the best way to combat this is by educating people.
“I’d much prefer if people asked me why Ollie looks the way he does, rather than just telling me is ugly or pointing and staring.”
Ollie will need further operations in the future, but doctors are waiting to see how his skull develops before performing any more invasive surgery.
Amy said: “We have regular check-ups at the hospital, and things are going really well.
“Ollie will probably never look like all the other children and I’m terrified that he will be bullied at school. But he is such a lovely boy that it’s impossible not to adore him.’
“I think he is absolutely perfect the way he is. There is nothing wrong with being different.
“Ollie is a unique, clever, funny little boy and he amazes me every day. He is my special little Pinocchio, and I will never stop loving him.”
Martin Evans, clinical lead for craniofacial surgery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said:
“Cases like Ollie’s are incredibly rare. I see perhaps one per year.
“We are very pleased that the operation was a success, and wish him all the best for the future.”
Source – Mirror.co.uk