She got that Benjamin Buttons! Except in her case she wasn’t getting any younger until a plastic surgeon stepped in.
Details via The UK Mirror:
A facelift at the age of 16 sounds like vanity gone mad – but for Zara Hartshorn it gave her a life as a normal teenager, the Sunday People reveals today.
She was a youngster hoping for love like the others but her tender skin looked twisted and wrinkled because of a rare condition.
With prematurely ravaged features and gaps in her teeth she spent years enduring kids’ taunts of “monkey” and “granny”.
But today, thanks to pioneering surgery, the bullies are no more than an unpleasant memory.
Zara has found the fella of her dreams. She no longer feels out of place with her friends and is looking forward to life with her sweetheart Ricky Andrews.
With her looks transformed, she hopes to open a beauty salon.
Recalling the moment all the bandages came off, she said: “When I saw myself it was mixture of surprise and happiness.
“Growing up I never thought this day would come. I thought I would be the same for ever.
“I remember the unhappy little girl who was bullied and I want to go back and tell her it will all be all right. Now when I look in the mirror I can see opportunities that weren’t there before.
“There is the chance to go to college and have a better future.
“Before surgery I was picked on for looking different. Now I look the same as other girls my age.
“I don’t feel like people are staring at me when I walk down the street any more. I finally feel like a teenager.”
Last July when she was 15, Zara told the Sunday People of her condition lipodystrophy.
It causes sufferers to age prematurely, decaying bones and destroying fatty tissue inside the skin.
After that she was contacted by Dr Abhimanyu Garg, a US expert, who flew her to Texas for tests.
Zara was then told she had an even rarer illness – cutis laxa, which can weaken joints and cause heart and lung problems.
Reeling from the new diagnosis, Zara was astonished to be offered a free facelift and nose augmentation by another leading surgeon, Dr Robert Ersek.
It was hoped the op would allow Zara to lead a normal life.
After going ahead, the day came when she nervously removed the last of her bandages.
She was thrilled with the results. Zara, who stars in a TV documentary this Thursday about her transformation, said: “It was an amazing opportunity that I could never have dreamed of having before.
“I realized how life-changing it could be but I was still so nervous about how it would turn out. The night before the operation I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited. Four days after the surgery when I had the bandages removed I really didn’t like what I saw.
“Everything was so swollen. I thought I’d made a huge mistake. But after nine days I had the nose cast removed and realized straight away how good it looked.
“Now I love my nose. When I came back home everyone was telling me that I looked completely different. It felt great.
“My sister Chloe’s boyfriend Connor looked at me three times before he realized it was me.
“Now I find it hard to imagine what I looked like before the facelift and nose operation. Going through my old Facebook pictures I realize how much I have changed and how lucky I am.”
The surgery definitely helped but that girl still looks more like 36 than 16! Poor thang for real. SMH
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