The Little Baby Face Foundation, a charity that offers free corrective surgery to children who are born with face deformities, has granted Nadia Ilse a new lease on lie. Ilse cannot wait until the new school year begins because she will not be called ‘Dumbo’ by her classmates because she had ‘elephant ears.’ Ilse started receiving taunts about her ears beginning in the first grade and she asked her mother when she was 10 if she could have an otoplasty performed. An otoplasty is a procedure that pins her ears back to her head. Ilse is now 14 and she told CNN in an interview that she once was an outspoken person but now is withdrawn and antisocial. In an interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Ilse said she that the taunting ‘hurt so much.’
Little Baby Face Foundation was contacted by the mother of Ilse and the two traveled to New York City from their home state of Georgia. The organization did not simply pin her ears back. Dr. Thomas Romo, III performed a reduction rhinoplasty and a mentoplasty. The rhinoplasty shrunk her nose and the mentoplasty changed her chin. The surgery cost roughly $40,000 and the foundation footed the entire bill.
In 2007, roughly 90,000 youths elected to have cosmetic surgery in order to beat bullying at school. Ilse said that she should have been accepted by her peers prior the surgery but also admitted that the bullying would not end. She said she has no regrets with getting the surgery performed.
“I look beautiful, this is exactly what I wanted, I love it,” she said.
Ilse is scheduled to begin therapy in order to emotionally overcome the years of torment she received from her peers. The new look for Ilse demonstrates the mission of the Little Baby Face Foundation, according to board member Don Moriarity.
“We like to say that Baby Face transforms the lives of these children and gives them newfound confidence,” Moriarity said.
Gupta asked Ilse what she advice she would give parents. Ilse said, “Give your children a lot of love and affection and tell them that they’re beautiful every single day.”