Lacey-Dee Barrett was born with purple bruise-like birthmarks that covered most of her body.
But heartless strangers were commenting that she looked “diseased” and eventually led her mom, Sara Farrow, 27, to hide her from the public for the first 6 weeks. Meet the mom in the video below.
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Video credit: Rumble
Sara was also afraid that people might think she was to blame for her daughter’s port-wine stains. She went so far as to use filters to mask her daughter’s skin when she would post Lacey-Dee’s photos on Instagram.
But Sara changed her mind after thinking that once grown up, Lacey-Dee might look back on the old photos and ask her if she was embarrassed about her.
That meant having to endure comments that described her daughter as looking “diseased” and “contagious.”
Sara said: “Until she was six weeks old I covered her up whenever we went out in public.
“As her mom obviously I am not bothered about her appearance but I was scared about what other people would think.
“When she was first born she was very red and looked bruised. I’ve had people say lots of things when we are out.
“I was scared of what people would think of me as a mom. People have said she looks diseased and have asked what’s wrong with her face.
“One person asked ‘is she allergic to the washing powder I use’ and people think there is something really wrong with her.”
But for Sara, Lacey-Dee was “completely unique” and “just how she is” and would even be “strange” if her daughter was without her birthmarks.
From the moment Lacey-Dee was born at Lincoln County Hospital in April, Sara already realized that she was different. The dark patches on her chest initially led doctors to think she was bruised.
The birthmark became evident in a few hours and Sara said that at first, it was “hard to come to terms with.”
Sara, a former retail worker, said: “It was only on her chest at first and we thought it might be bruising.
“But after a couple of hours, her whole body turned purple and blue.
“It was a real shock, to be honest, and I was really worried because doctors weren’t sure what was wrong.”
In October last year, specialists diagnosed Lacey-Dee with port-wine stains. This birthmark occurs when blood vessels do not develop properly.
In the UK, three in every 1,000 babies are born with port-wine stains. The condition occurs during pregnancy.
Usually, it can only be found on one limb or one area of the body.
Initially, Sara used baby blankets, long-sleeved clothing, or hid Lacey-Dee away in the buggy to hide the stains.
“I just thought ‘oh god’ and it was hard for me to come to terms with,” she said. “I was most worried about her face and I’m scared for her future.
“But it got to the point where I didn’t want her to look back on baby photos and see I wasn’t confident enough or I was embarrassed.
“I had to get brave for her sake as much as mine. I had to come to terms with it. I’m worried about when she goes to school. I don’t want her to be called names or to be bullied.”
Other than how it looks, the birthmark has no side effects and Lacey-Dee, now nine months old, is a “very happy” infant.
But Sara finds herself having to explain her daughter’s condition whenever they’re out in public.
She said: “We went to the GP and a receptionist there said she should be kept in another room away from children playing in the waiting room in case she’s contagious.
“It makes me feel bad but regardless of the birthmark, it doesn’t change who she is.
“We have seen so many dermatologists and they all said this is the most extensive case of port wine stains they have seen.”
Next month, specialists will asses if Lacey-Dee can undergo color-corrective treatment.