Who is Brooke Atkins? Trolls criticize mother for opting to laser off birthmark on her 6-month-old baby's face
Recently, a 33-year-old stay-at-home mum, Brooke Atkins, has been called out on Instagram for putting her baby through a so-called "cosmetic procedure". The mother from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, has two kids — a 2-year-old daughter Amarni and a six-month-old baby boy Kingsley with her 27-year-old husband Kewene Wallace. The baby boy was born in January and suffered from several health issues like glaucoma, Sturge weber syndrome, and a large mark that covered half of his face, which is known as port wine stain. The condition is generally harmless, but if it occurs on the face or the eye area, it can lead to glaucoma, which can cause blindness. The neurological disorder, Sturge Weber syndrome, causes seizures and other disabilities. The baby was already suffering from both these conditions. Kingsley's face stains were darkening over time, and therefore his condition was also worsening.
Brooke, while talking to a media outlet, said, "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 effect, as the skin is already far too damaged." So the family decided to use laser treatment on the baby's face on May 31. The mother also said that the most effective way to treat a port wine stain is by laser, specifically a Pulsed Dye Laser. She explained that "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."
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Brooke said, "When he was first born, we were referred to the Queensland Children’s Hospital dermatology and vascular department, where they organise the first treatment and explain in further details why laser would be important." However, people on TikTok has slammed the mother and called her a "monster" for choosing this treatment for her child. One person said, "Don't think I could laser my baby." Another comment read, "The birthmark is barely visible, what you're doing to him is horrible, it's more for you than him." Another user frowned and said, "Did you deadass laser a baby." It was followed by another comment that said, "Brainwashed mother making her kid insecure the second he gets out of the womb."
However, some users have also supported the mother. One user commented, "You're the mom and you know what is the best for him." Another comment was, "He would've still looked as beautiful with or without the birthmark." Brooke finally broke her silence on the incident. She said, "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 further said that the last six months have been tough for them and the negative comments added to the pain. They needed people to be understanding and not judgemental. She added, "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."