14-year-old Nadia Iles won free plastic surgery from a site designed to help children with facial deformities after being bullied about her appearance.
Iles appeared on Good Morning America to talk about her decision. She says she was bullied about her ears since the age of 7, and became so depressed by the constant taunts that she often skipped school, and ultimately considered suicide.
Her mother, Lynda, says that her daughter did not talk to her about her problems in school. Nadia did not want to further trouble her mother, who was recently laid off and also cares for Nadia’s 9-year-old brother, who has cerebral palsy. “I’m heartbroken about it,” Lynda said. “I didn’t realize that it was that bad. She would mostly say that she has migraines.”
When Nadia finally told her mother what was going on, she asked for plastic surgery to pin her ears back. Lynda could not afford the surgery, so she contacted the Little Baby Face Foundation, which provides funds for plastic surgery for children with facial deformities such as cleft palates and facial palsy. When asked why they chose to pay for Nadia’s surgery, President Dr. Thomas Romo stated, “She wasn’t picked to have her surgery because she was bullied. She was picked for her surgery because of her deformities.” In addition to having her ears pinned back, Nadia also had work done on her nose and chin — a total of $40,000 worth of surgery.
And Nadia is not alone. According to The Huffington Post, about 90,000 youth had plastic surgery in 2007.
Lynda Iles defends the decision, saying, “It was just something that we chose to do. It’s no different than somebody having teeth that require braces.”
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