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Ever since I was a little girl, I was taught, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It’s a good rule to live by, but it seems not everyone has learned it.
That’s what Amy discovered when she had a shocking encounter with a stranger over her son’s appearance.
Little Ollie was born with a rare condition called encephalocele, which caused his brain to seep through a crack in his skull and grow out into a ball on his nose.
“When they gave me Ollie to hold, I was so surprised that I almost couldn’t speak,” Amy recalled of the moment she first met her son. “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.”
Sadly, not everyone shares that sentiment. Strangers are constantly gawking and whispering and their cruel remarks have often brought Amy to tears.
One interaction was especially painful.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking,” she said. “Once, a woman told me I should never have given birth to him. I nearly burst into tears.”
Amy is well-aware that Ollie looks different from most kids, but on the inside, he’s just the same as anyone else and deserves to be treated as such.
“To me, Ollie is perfect,” she said. “He is my little real-life Pinocchio and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Despite all Ollie has been through, he has a big heart and lots of love. He has had to undergo several painful operations due to complications with his nasal passages, but he has always met those challenges with courage and a smile.
“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,” Amy said. “His positivity made it so much easier for me.”
Amy hopes others will see Ollie the same way she does and learn to treat those who are “different” with the same respect and compassion they would hope to receive.
She said she doesn’t mind people’s questions and would actually prefer them over the pointing and stares.
“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,” she said.
Life has not been easy for Ollie and he will face many challenges up ahead, but we hope his love and joy will continue untarnished. We’re glad he has such a wonderful mom who will protect him, guide him, and help teach others to show a little more kindness and compassion to those around them.
Are you happy to see Amy and Ollie spreading joy and kindness despite the cruel things people have said? Then share it!
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