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Bullied Kid Undergoes Plastic Surgery on His Ears

by Angela Santoriello

Bullied Kid Undergoes Plastic Surgery on His Ears

Elf ears in fairytales are mystical and even powerful, but in real life they were a nightmare for Gage Berger.

But then his dream came true when the Mobley Foundation for Charitable Surgery gave the six-year-old a new set of ears, reports ABC news. According to his father, his son suffered much more than just ridicule at school, he endured emotional ache that proved much worse than if the condition caused physical distress.

"I'd catch him looking in the mirror and trying to pin them back, and when he got nervous or upset or when he was in trouble, he'd physically grab his ears," said his father Timothy Berger. "It was subconscious. It was him thinking that his ears were the problem and that was why he must be in trouble."

Giving Gage a choice after explaining the surgery, Timothy Berger said both he and wife, Katie, were grateful when Mobley made it possible by picking up the bill. Since considered cosmetic, having the procedure is not covered by insurance, making it unavailable for many financially stressed families. “He was so excited for it. Obviously, if he wasn't on board with it, we wouldn't have touched him. Ultimately, we told him it was up to him," said Berger. He added that he wants to emphasize that he isn't endorsing cosmetic surgery for kids and that "it's a very personal and private decision parents and children need to make together."

Founder of the charity, Dr. Steven Mobley is no stranger to media that follows his heroic gestures. The Mobley Foundation for Charitable Surgery reports how “otoplasty is frequently considered a cosmetic operation. However, for many children it can be so much more than just cosmetic.”

“Many studies have shown that children with this condition rate themselves lower in physical appearance, have concentration anxiety, and report significantly more teasing than their peers,” according to the foundation. Like his patient, the surgeon said he too “was also picked on as kid for having big ears and that he also got ear-pinning surgery.”

Though the surgeon did not have his surgery until 19 years old, he refuses to perform the gratis procedure on anyone younger than five, “since the ear is then 70 to 80 percent the size of its full adult size. He said he also takes the child's mental outlook and maturity into consideration.”

Calling Gage more confident since the surgery, he said his son was grinning from “ear-to-ear” when he first saw his reflection after the bandages were removed. "If anyone's picking on him for any other reason now, he'll go up to them. When he comes home from school, and I ask him how his day went, he isn't telling me no one wants to play with him anymore. He'll say things like, 'Everything was good! We played outside, and I made like 10 new friends!"

One friend he is sure to keep is Mobley. "His smile said it all, and the parents had such a relieved look in their eyes," said the surgeon of Gage’s response. "I've been texting with his parents since then, and I'll see him in a few weeks for a two-month post-operation check-up where we'll hand over the official before-and-after pictures."

If you or someone you know is interested in plastic surgery, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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