A mum has forked out nearly £15K on laser surgery in an attempt to remove a birthmark on her baby’s face.
Amanda Leutenberg’s daughter, Ever, was born with a dark red port-wine stain covering half of her face.
And within days of her birth, mum Amanda, 34 from Chicago was horrified when strangers started commenting on her appearance, often mistaking the mark for a rash.
“The first time that I took Ever out of the house after she was born, we were sat in a restaurant eating some breakfast,” Amanda explains.
“The waitress came over and looked into Ever’s car seat and immediately said ‘oh my god, what’s wrong with her face!’
“I was really taken aback and hurt by it – she was only days old and was already getting judgement.”
But instead of opting to hide away her beautiful newborn, Amanda says she decided to get her out of the car seat and show her off.
Amanda admits she was surprised when she first saw the dark red port-wine stain straight after Ever was born.
“When they first handed her to me I noticed that something was different – half of her face was dark red and one eye was very swollen.
“I was nervous because I was being filled with ideas of the worst-case scenario, I didn’t even imagine that it could be from a birthmark.
“But then when we did find out it was just a birthmark, it was about finding the best way to keep it minimal and keep her skin healthy.”
Despite the expense of the treatment, Amanda was keen to start immediately in a bid to lower her daughter’s chance of having plastic surgery in the future.
She opted for laser treatment, costing more than £2,500 per session, and since the treatment she’s found it easier to talk about Ever’s birthmark “because there’s more to discuss and I can tell people about her treatment and why she looks the way she does”.
To encourage her daughter, now five months, to further to embrace her birthmark, Amanda has also created a clothing line for children with differences.
The line includes t-shirts and onesies of animals with differences from asthma, visual impairments and disabilities.
“I decided to make the range so that children would be able to embrace their differences and help them realise that it makes them special,” she said.
“I created a line that was specifically for port-wine stain children – where the mark on the face matches Ever’s.
“As well, when she’s wearing the tops, it makes it easier for people to understand what is going on and that to us it’s beautiful.
“It’s also great when we’re struggling as a family, to know that the clothing line is helping others!”
According to the NHS capillary malformation, also known as port wine stains, are flat red or purple marks that affect a very small number of newborn babies.
“They can vary in size, from a few millimetres to several centimetres in diameter,” the site reads.
“Port wine stains often affect one side of the body and usually occur on the face, chest and back (although they can occur anywhere).”
Read more from Yahoo Style UK: