During an ultrasound in her 20th week of pregnancy, doctors informed 22-year-old Amy Poole that her baby would be born a little differently. In the ultrasound, doctors found a soft tissue growing on her baby's face.
While she still had several months to prepare herself for her baby, Poole was still shocked when she held him in her arms for the first time. She gave birth at the University Hospital of Wales in February 2014.
This baby's brain was growing into his nose
"When they gave me Ollie to hold, I was so surprised that I almost couldn't speak. He was so tiny, but there was this enormous golf-ball-sized lump on his nose." said mother Poole, according to Little Things. "At first, I wasn't sure how I would cope. But I knew that I would love him no matter what he looked like."
Ollie was born with a rare condition known as Encephalocele, a disease in which a section of the brain protrudes through an opening in the skull. The boy's brain began to grow through a crevice in the skull into the nose, causing it to stretch.
But the boy's problem was not just aesthetic. As the months passed, the volume inside his nose increased - preventing him from breathing normally. The doctors explained to the mother that there was a risk that he would get an infection, such meningitis, if he stumbled and had a nosebleed. They insisted that an operation was necessary.
"I was so afraid of allowing Ollie to undergo such a big surgery!" Poole said to Fox News. "He was so fragile, and I could not bear the thought of losing him!"
In November 2014, Ollie underwent a successful. The doctors opened his skull, removed the bag with excess brain fluid and rebuilt his nose.
Luckily, Ollie is fully recovered now. He and his sister, Anabelle, have a lot of fun together. Poole said she even shows a sense of jealousy in her brother's nose, since all the attention is focused on the happy boy.
But unfortunately, not everyone looks at the boy with affection or compassion. Amy said she has heard many cruel comments from strangers.
"Once, a woman told me that I should never have given birth to him," she said. "I almost burst into tears! He has also been called 'ugly' sometimes."
A battle against prejudice
Because of this insensitive reaction, Amy is terrified at the thought of her son being bullied at school. To help prevent this, she is raising awareness so her child and other children are not subjected to cruel comments because of their differences.
Ollie will still have to undergo more surgeries in the future, but doctors need to wait to see how his skull continues to develop. Regardless of how the new surgeries will affect the boy's appearance, Amy has nothing but pride and love for her son.
"He is such a lovely boy and it's impossible not to adore him," she said. "To me, Ollie is perfect ... He is my little real-life Pinocchio. "I think he is absolutely perfect the way he is. There is nothing wrong with being different."
This article has been translated and adapted from the original "O médico viu um nariz enorme no ultrassom. Quando o bebê nasceu, sua mãe ficou espantada." It was originally published on familia.com.br.