Let’s Talk: Could you make this difficult choice for your grandchild? 41



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At first glance, this beautiful little girl looks happy as can be, but in fact the large birthmark on her face is of concern.

Her parents are hoping the public will help to donate funds on fundraising website Go Fund Me so that little Ruby can have extensive plastic surgery to remove the hair-covered, dark birthmark.

It had us wondering: what would we do if we were in this situation? We all know that babies are precious and we’d love them so much no matter what they looked like – but what about the rest of the world? Commenters on the Daily Mail’s article have been quick to ask whether there were medical reasons little seven-month-old Ruby was going to have the surgery on her face.

One lady said, “Having been through skin grafts as an adult, i would never put my daughter through them unless needed or she chose to, you can see the scars a lot, to me she’s a beautiful little girl who doesn’t need such huge operations, she could get bullied for the skin graft scars, then what. Let her decide when she’s older”, while another said “I totally agree Chloe. I had a skin graft done like that when I was 3 years old as I had one similar on the left side of my forehead. I’m glad I had it done as now I have left is a minor scar”.

The Daily Mail reports Ruby Ashby is one in 500,000 children born with Congenital Melanocytic Nevus which covers the right side of her face and head.

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The tiny baby, from Towradji near Wollongong, needs seven operations to fully remove the dark, hairy mark before she starts school. The first operation costs $10,000 and takes place on January 12.

‘We just want the best for her. We are hoping by the time she starts school the mark will be gone, it takes time though because we have to give time for the skin to heal between surgeries”.

We want to know today: If your grandchild had a facial birthmark or another type of scar, would you want them to have it operated on? Why or why not?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. It would be great if difference was embraced not ridiculed and parents could have every confidence that their daughter could happily be different. Sadly this is unlikely. No surgery is risk free but I think I’d make the same decision and get surgery done.

    2 REPLY
  2. A very difficult decision to make. Could well be replacing one disfigurement with another but success is more likely when the child is young.

  3. There is no right answer here only the answer the parents make in the best interests of their child. I hope all goes well.

  4. If she had a huge overbite and kids called her goofy I am sure mum and dad would have her fitted for braces and retainer . Who wants their child ridiculed ? She is a beautiful baby but then I’ve never seen an ugly one yet . Mum and dad will do what it takes

  5. She is beautiful however it is a very cruel world.
    I cant see why this isnt covered by medicare personally, I suppose many will disagree but it seems bigger than a cosmetic procedure.
    It is the parents call and if they were my children and they wished to proceed with the surgery I would support them 100%.
    Our society ridicules what is different.

    1 REPLY
    • You are right. This isn’t for cosmetic enhancement or vanity. It’s so a little girl can lead a normal life because lovely as she is, others are pretty darned ugly on the inside.

  6. It’s not just bullying from other children she will face. Adults can also be very cruel.
    We do everything we can to have our children accepted and these parents are no exception.
    I wish them all good luck with the surgeries and for a wonderful life.

    Personally, I think the government should also step in and pay for it.

  7. If she lived in a world of loving adults she wouldn’t have a problem, but children are cruel and so are a lot of ignorant adults. It would be a hard decision but I think I would say yes.

  8. It wouldn’t be our call, I’d support whatever decision their parents made, the younger she is when she has it the better the results will be, good luck to this family.

  9. What a happy contented beautiful looking girl. Yes people can be cruel, these days the surgeons can do so much. School is hard enough as it is. So I think I would let her have the operations.healing would be better,when she’s young.

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