TROLLS tried to guilt-trip a mum for lasering a mark off her son's face.
They branded her a 'monster' – but Brooke Atkins, 33, knew she was right to use the treatment on her little boy.
Little Kingsley was welcomed to the world in January last year by Brooke and her partner Kewene Wallace, 27.
He was a large mark covering half of his face – the mark is also known as a port wine stain and they are usually harmless.
But the family were soon told that their little boy had a rare illness.
Port wine stains covering the face and eye have been linked to glaucoma and a rare neurological disorder called Sturge Weber Syndrome.
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This is a condition that causes seizures and other disabilities, while glaucoma effects vision and can cause blindness.
Sadly, Kingsley had both conditions.
It lead his mum to make the tough decision on May 31 last year to use laser treatment on his skin.
Brooke said: "The thing with port wine stains is that they are progressive, meaning they will change and darken over time.
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"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."
When he was first born, the family were referred to the Queensland Children’s Hospital dermatology and vascular department in Australia.
This is where they organised the first treatment and it was explained in further detail why laser would be important for little Kingsley.
Brooke said: "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."
The Pulsed Dye Laser is the most affective treatment for the condition, but Brooke has been criticised on social media for her decision to give Kingsley the procedure.
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."
"Brainwashed mother making her kid insecure the second he gets out the womb," a third said.
However, many people were quick to rush to her defence saying she is his mum and therefore knows best.
What is a port wine stain?
A port wine stain birthmark is caused by abnormal development of blood vessels in the skin.
Experts at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) said they usually look flat and are red or purple.
They explained: "Very occasionally, over time, the port wine stain may become thicker, darken and develop a ‘cobblestone’ appearance with raised bumps and ridges.
"Port wine stains can appear anywhere on the body, in most cases on one side of the body only, but occasionally on both sides. About 65 per cent of port wine stains are on the head and neck."
Around three in every 1,000 children have a port wine stain and girls are twice as likely to have one than men – but it's not clear why.
Brooke said that when she first started reading negative comments, she cried to herself.
She said she had a whole heap of mum guilt, which made her question her decision.
Even though she knew she was doing the right thing, she said the cruel words still played in her head.
"Thankfully for every negative comment, there were 100 positive, so it helped a lot!
“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.
“That the last six months have been extremely hard on us and reading these comments, actually do hurt – this is the last thing we need, judgement from those who have no understanding around my son's conditions.”
While she says she constantly worries about her son's future, he continues to hit all his milestones.
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"This journey for our family has just started and there is a long road ahead but we will push through!
"Over 20 hospital appointments, two different hospitals, over ten different specialists and doctors, five different medical departments, three MRIs, one ultrasound, two hearing tests, two operations, two laser treatments and three diagnoses, all in six months – yet he is the happiest, most loving and sweetest boy you will ever meet," she added.
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