A mum whose face became etched with grief after losing three loved ones in just two years says £2,000 cosmetic fillers erased the heartache from her appearance and her soul.
Yvonne Green, 49, was devastated when her twin sister Angela Watson, 45, died in February 2018 from a heart attack, only to have her loss compounded when her aunt Janet Erskin, 64, died of a brain tumour in the November and her dad Alan Green, 72, passed with heart complications in September 2019.
A teaching assistant at a special needs school, she was also trying to process the shocking news that her daughter Chloe Shaw, 17, had complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Just 14 when she was diagnosed after developing symptoms within weeks of Angela’s death, Yvonne feared she may never walk again.
With every blow, Yvonne, of Swindon, Wiltshire, also mum to Jessica Shaw, 22, a full time student, saw her face becoming increasingly lined – acting as a constant reminder of her tremendous worry and loss.
So, in November 2019, Yvonne decided to take action – spending £2,000 on Ellanse dermal fillers, which she says cleared the grief from her face and her outlook, adding: “They seriously changed my life and stopped me focusing on the sadness.
“Instead, when I saw myself in the mirror, I thought of when I was younger and the wonderful memories of my family.”
She added: “If I hadn’t had the treatment, I would honestly say I’d still be depressed.”
Almost telepathically close to her twin sister, Yvonne – who is no longer with her daughters’ dad – instantly knew something had happened to her when she woke up screaming in bed.
“I woke up in bed and started screaming to my daughters that I couldn’t move my left arm,” she said.
She added: “Two hours later I found out Angela had passed away from a heart attack. It was so tragic, as she’d hit her head on the fall.
“We were extremely close. It felt like I’d lost half of myself. An emptiness just fell over my whole body that I couldn’t shake off.”
Then, just weeks later, Yvonne was terrified when her daughter, Chloe, then just 14, collapsed, leaving her unable to move her legs.
“She collapsed in the kitchen,” said Yvonne.
“Her legs weren’t the same after. Then, when she collapsed again a month later, her left leg tightened and she was in excruciating pain.”
Chloe was diagnosed with the chronic condition CRPS, in which sufferers experience severe and debilitating pain, usually triggered by an injury.
Affecting Chloe’s left leg and also spreading to her left arm, the poor girl was in constant agony.
“It took a little while, but after trial and error, she was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome,” said Yvonne.
“She was forced to use crutches, as the pain in her leg was so bad she couldn’t even have someone brush up against her.”
She added: “There was this moment where I feared she might never walk again.”
Trying to stay strong for her two daughters, Yvonne threw herself into helping with Chloe’s treatment, only for her aunt to be diagnosed with a grade four brain tumour and to pass away four months later in November 2018.
“My aunt was a mother figure to me,” she said.
She added: “My dad brought me up, so my aunt was the female figure I went to for everything.
“Losing her was just awful.”
Already heartbroken, when her father then died from heart complications in September 2019, she felt broken.
“I was completely broken when I lost my dad,” she said.
“I was always a real daddy’s girl. The rest of my family live in South Africa, so I was completely alone as I grieved for him.
“My world was shattered and I literally crashed.”
Lost in grief, Yvonne started to resent the person staring back at her in the mirror.
“By October 2019, I couldn’t handle it anymore,” she said.
“Every time I looked in the mirror, my face just reminded me of losing all my family.”
She added: “I looked terrible. I looked old and I hated it.
“I couldn’t even go to the shops. I became a hermit. I just couldn’t face going outside.
“I was trapped in my grief.”
Finally, in November 2019, came a turning point when Yvonne decided to take back control – starting with her face.
Booking an appointment at Anna Medical Aesthetics in Swindon, she was determined to change her haggard appearance.
“The girls kept telling me to treat myself,” said Yvonne.
She added: “So, in November, I decided I was going to focus on getting my appearance back. I found Anna Medical Aesthetics online and I really liked the way they looked.
“I wasn’t set on the treatment I wanted. Instead, I had a chat with the advanced nurse practitioner, Anna Kremerov, and she advised me to have fillers to recreate a youthful glow.”
Splashing out £2,000 on Ellanse bio-stimulating dermal fillers in her cheeks and chin, Yvonne turned back time – removing the weight of her grief from her face.
“When Anna finished the fillers, I hugged her for five minutes,” she said, “they just looked amazing.
“I looked so youthful, and it made me feel so much better. I instantly had more confidence and felt better about looking in the mirror.”
But she had not expected her enhanced physical appearance to have a knock on effect on her state of mind.
And she was delighted when looking more youthful restored her younger memories of happy times spent with the people she had lost – helping to wipe away her grief.
“It was so strange, as somehow, my new youthful appearance brought back memories of when I was young,” she said.
“When I looked in the mirror my new look reminded me of when I was younger with my twin sister and of happy family memories.”
She added: “It changed my grief and suddenly I felt like I could enjoy the good memories again. I can’t even put into words how much it meant to me.”
Best of all for Yvonne, Chloe beat the odds and, after spending two years on crutches, was finally able to walk again in January 2020.
“Chloe is now able to walk without crutches,” said Yvonne.
She added: “She’s had a lot of physiotherapy to help her and she’s done so amazingly well. I’m so proud of her, after fearing she may never walk unaided to seeing her just walk around normally. It was the positive outcome we needed after the last few years.”
Changing her life for the better, Yvonne is still so thankful that her cosmetic treatment pulled her out of her despair.
“I have Botox on my frown lines to keep up the youthful glow,” she said.
She added: “But I won’t need my fillers redone for a while yet, as they stimulate collagen production maintaining the glow for at least two years.
“I can’t explain how much having them changed my life. I couldn’t face my grief and I was so depressed.
“It was a hard time and I had stopped taking care of myself. The fillers have given me the ability to move forward and deal with everything.”
She added: “I can face family memories and now they even make me smile. They’ve changed my life.”
Advanced nurse practitioner at Anna Medical Aesthetics, Anna Kermerov is also delighted to see the change in Yvonne’s appearance and her outlook.
She said: “Yvonne had had a few difficult years which had taken their toll on her face.”
“Now she looks and feels amazing. I can see how much her confidence has grown since we first met.”
To find out more about Ellanse dermal fillers go to https://www.sinclairpharma.com