Baby was born with ‘clown-nose’
For two-year-old Connie Lloyd, there was nothing amusing about having a bright red ‘clown’s nose’.
Born with a benign tumour that grew to cover her nose, she suffered cruel taunts and name-calling and was told the rare condition could not be cured.
But the shy little girl has a reason to smile at last after surgeons defied the odds and left her with a ‘nose like mom’s’.
Doctors had spotted a shadow on Connie’s nose at the 26-week scan but when she was born in September 2008, she appeared perfectly healthy.
Connie, from Slough, Berkshire, was just a day old when parents Zara Green and Tom Lloyd, both 24, noticed a raised red mark on her nose.Within a month, it had grown to one and half inches in diameter.Zara said: ‘When we saw her nose we were amazed. She looked like a different child but we knew it was our Connie.’Their GP referred them to a skin specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, who diagnosed the baby with haemangioma – a benign tumour.
Connie became only the eighth baby in the UK to try the drug Propranolol – used for heart conditions – to stop the growth becoming larger.
But her parents were told there was no cure and also warned she could even bleed to death if her nose was scratched or bruised.
Her mother searched for anyone who could help and eventually located surgeon Dr Iain Hutchison who specialises in treating facial disfigurements.
He operated on Connie in March, working to remove the tumour and leaving her with just a small scar.Her mother said: ‘Before the operation, Connie was quite shy and when people made comments and pointed she would turn her head.
‘Even just going to the doctors’ surgery was awful for both of us. I would hide Connie in the car to avoid people making horrible comments.’By the time Connie was four weeks old, her nose was a perfect clown’s nose and not only was the birthmark growing externally, but internally too.
‘We were constantly worried. The doctors said if she cut or grazed it, she could bleed to death. There were treatments to stop it getting bigger but nothing to get rid of it.’
‘It was the longest few hours of my life when Connie was in the theatre. When she came out of the operation she said her nose was like her mum’s.
‘Now she is doing really well, she has a big group of friends and we are so proud of her.’She added: ‘It’s nice not to have to deal with the cruel comments any more but, red nose or not, Connie has always been our perfect little girl.’