Girl, 15, bullied for looking decades older due to rare condition gets new face
A 15-year-old girl who has a rare condition that made her look decades older than she was has been given a new face.
The teen, who uses the pseudonym Xiao Feng, was mercilessly mocked for her loose skin, which was caused by progeria – a genetic syndrome affecting only one in eight million babies.
Xiao, from Heishan County, Jinzhou, China, was so self-conscious about her looks that she had never taken a selfie.
Good Samaritans decided to pay for life-changing surgery so the youngster could look like her peers.
The £56,000 seven-and-a-half hour operation took place last month – and the results were revealed to the public yesterday.
Surgeons removed seven centimetres of excess skin and reshaped the teen's nose, eyebrows and mouth.
Dr Shi Lingzhi, head of Shenyang Sunline Plastic Surgery Hospital, said she gave the girl a 70 per cent discount on her operation after strangers donated more than £20,000 towards it.
She added that the teen burst into tears when she saw herself for the first time at yesterday's reveal event.
Xiao's dad Wang Hongde embraced his daughter as she wept on stage, Mail Online reports.
The farmer said: "Today is the happiest day for my daughter.
"The night after Xiao Feng's surgery was the night when I slept the soundest because I believed that doctors could cure my daughter's condition and help her live and study happily in the future."
He added that his daughter would often mistake her for a parent of a pupil when she was at primary school.
Before her operation, Xiao did not have any friends and used to play with pigeons.
Her skin started sagging when she was one-years-old and became progressively worse as she grew older.
After graduating from middle school she decided to stay at home because she was afraid of meeting new people.
She contacted the local philanthropist Guo Mingyi begging for help when she turned 15.
The teen wrote: "I am 15 years old, but I have a face of a 60-year-old. How I long to look like a high school student."
Mr Mingyi organised a charity marathon and a fundraising event to pay for her treatment, raising more than £20,000.
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