Parents Hid Baby’s Face to Shield Her from Stares — Now, at 2, She Looks ‘Gorgeous’ After Surgery

A young girl entered the world bearing a rare birthmark, a phenomenon observed in only one out of every 20,000 newborns. Concerned and bewildered, her mother, Celine Casey, feared she had unknowingly caused harm during pregnancy and was uncertain about the implications of this unique mark on her daughter’s future. One thing was clear: she desired its removal.

Celine Casey, mother to Vienna Brookshaw, shares the remarkable journey of her daughter. Their story began in April 2021, when Vienna came into the world in the United Kingdom. As doctors placed the newborn on her mother’s chest, Celine couldn’t shake the worry that she might have somehow contributed to the prominent birthmark nestled between Vienna’s eyebrows.

While the birthmark posed no threat to Brookshaw’s physical well-being, Casey was acutely aware of the potential impact it could have on her daughter’s mental health as she navigated interactions with peers curious about her condition.

Brookshaw belonged to the small percentage of infants born with congenital melanocytic nevus (CMN), a condition characterized by the presence of benign pigment cells clustered between her eyebrows. This meant that the mark would have expanded proportionately as Brookshaw matured.


Given the rarity of the condition, there was no certainty regarding the extent to which Brookshaw’s birthmark might have expanded as she aged. However, her mother remained resolute in her decision: she did not want her daughter to contend with the potential consequences of the birthmark.

Casey wasted no time in requesting the removal of the birthmark, determined to spare her daughter from feeling isolated or different from her peers as she matured. She also harbored concerns that failing to address the birthmark might lead her daughter to harbor resentment toward herself and her partner.

Casey expressed, “We love seeing her grow on her journey, and we can’t wait for the day that she does grow up and can speak for herself so we can hear her opinion, we’d love her no matter what, even if we did keep the birthmark.”


Despite Casey’s earnest desire to remove the birthmark for her daughter’s well-being, the journey was far from easy. The noticeable stares and differential treatment her daughter received from a tender age prompted Casey and her partner to recognize the urgency of the situation. Determined to proceed with the removal as soon as possible, they sought assistance from the NHS, only to face disappointment as their request was denied.

The NHS, adhering to its policy of funding surgeries deemed essential solely for physical health, declined support for Brookshaw’s case, which was potentially categorized as cosmetic rather than imperative.

Undeterred by this setback, Casey and her partner turned to crowdfunding, initiating a GoFundMe campaign to finance their daughter’s surgery. They candidly shared Brookshaw’s story and set a donation target, rallying support from their community and beyond.


Within just 24 hours, the parents successfully raised $52,000 through their GoFundMe campaign. However, their relief was short-lived as they faced yet another hurdle: the staggering increase in hospital costs, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, demanded an additional $27,000.

Undeterred by this setback, they turned once again to the power of crowdfunding, launching another campaign on GoFundMe. Thanks to the generosity of supporters, they swiftly secured the funds needed for Brookshaw’s birthmark removal surgery.

Reflecting on their decision, Casey remarked,“Everybody has things they’re insecure about on their body, and the doctor said he’d respect that, but with Vienna, it wasn’t going to affect her mental health right now. But we didn’t see it as that, she’s going to start school when she’s three, and younger kids are so smart, they point out stuff like that.”

Now, at the age of two, Brookshaw’s birthmark has been completely removed by doctors, leaving behind only a faint scar between her eyebrows. Casey frequently updates her social media followers on Shaw’s scar and the healing process, receiving an outpouring of admiration for her daughter’s resilience and beauty.

Although the birthmark has been successfully removed, Casey and Brookshaw still have to make regular trips to London for her surgeon to assess the healing progress of the scar and determine if any further surgeries are necessary beyond the three she has already undergone. Despite these medical considerations, Shaw is thriving and enjoying life like any other typical two-year-old.

While Brookshaw’s birthmark affected only a small area of her body, the story of another little girl with birthmarks covering 80% of her body highlights the varying experiences and challenges faced by individuals with such conditions. You can explore her full story here.

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