The surgery was supposed to change her life for the better.
After an unsightly skin condition on her nose left her struggling to breathe, Laudiane Fernandes was desperate to reverse the damage.
Instead, the 42-year-old has been subjected to bullying and name-calling after the surgery went horribly wrong.
Laudiane, from Alagoas in Brazil, now has a nose double its original size and says people repeatedly call her Shrek’s Princess Fiona or tell her she looks like a bull.
Although the mean comments hurt her feelings initially, Laudiane has learnt to not take it to heart.
“I am not ashamed and I don’t feel inferior to anybody else due to the way I look,” she says.
“I believe that my condition has actually made me stronger, and it will not deter me from living out my dreams.”
works as a beauty therapist, was diagnosed with haemangiomas, which is when
tiny blood vessels form under the skin, when she was 16. The condition caused
lumps in her nose, scalp and around her eyes.
The lumps were painless but caused nosebleeds that became so severe she was left “sitting in a pool of my own blood”. A nosebleed also triggered a seizure at school, she says.
“Within seconds I began having a seizure which scared my teachers as they didn't know what was going on and I was rushed to hospital,” Laudiane recalls.
“As I arrived medics struggled to make a diagnosis as there wasn't enough technology available like there is today.”
Doctors tried to perform a cauterisation, which is a procedure that involved burning off some of her blood vessels so that the bleeding would stop, Yahoo! News writes.
But it didn’t work.
are sometimes called strawberry marks because the surface on the skin looks
like that of a strawberry. Most aren’t dangerous and do not develop problems
but in some cases, like Laudiane’s, the condition can cause nosebleeds. While
the cause is unknown, haemangiomas usually occur in babies born prematurely.
Over the years, Laudiane was in and out of hospital with nosebleeds and eventually doctors decided it would be best to remove the blood vessels from her nose.
“I went on to have eight surgeries and in my final one they tried reattaching the skin to my nose,” she says.
But she developed an infection and as a result lost part of her nose.
“I was left with a deviated septum which brought me great difficulty breathing and due to this, I knew I had no other option but to let them [reconstruct my nose] with part of my cheek.”
The five-hour surgery helped her breathe better but doctors botched the procedure, leaving her with a nose double in size.
Laudiane says returning school after the surgery was difficult: “I began getting comments from my peers such as, ‘How are you doing, Pinocchio?’ and ‘You look like an alien with that nose’.”
The bullying took a toll on her and even though she still gets hurtful comments from strangers today, Laudiane has learnt to rise above it.
“I learnt to be strong and brave as I had no other option,” she says.
“If people couldn't accept my differences, then all that showed me is that they were unhappy with themselves.”
She adds that her condition has shown her how precious life is.
“Due to my condition, there were times where I could have stopped breathing or even bled out due to how much I was losing.
“But I thank God every day that I am still here to tell my story.”