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16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 - Health - Nairaland

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16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by NessaFresh(f): 2:51pm On Jun 24, 2013
Zara Hartshorn, from Rotherham, south Yorkshire, born with lipodystrophy
Her skin lacked elasticity and looked wrinkled and twisted
Endured years of bullying at school being called 'monkey' and 'granny'
Once made to get off a bus because driver would not believe she was a child
Pioneering facelift surgery in the US has given her new confidence
Started relationship with boyfriend Ricky and wants to go to college

A teenager who suffers from a rare genetic condition which makes her look middle-aged has been given new confidence thanks to pioneering facelift surgery.

Zara Hartshorn, 16, from Rotherham, south Yorkshire, had to endure years of cruel taunts and even physical abuse because of her appearance.

She inherited lipodystrophy - which makes her skin looked wrinkled and twisted - from her mother Tracey Gibson who also suffers from the illness.

But after hearing of her condition, a top surgeon in the US offered to perform cosmetic surgery for free. It has proved to be a complete success and Zara has felt able to start a relationship with new boyfriend Ricky Andrews and is even keen to go to college.
It is a remarkable change of fortunes for the teenager who was once left in tears after being made to get off a bus for not being able to prove she was eligible for a child's ticket.

By the time she was 12, Zara was already being mistaken for a middle-aged woman - and was even mistaken for 17-year-old sister Chloe's mother.
But now thanks to a lifeline by a surgeon in the US Zara feels indistinguishable from her peers.

Dr Abhimanyu Garg told Zara her condition is actually cutis laxa, an even rarer disease which only affects 30 people in the UK.

And Zara, who one day dreams of owning a beauty salon, says she is ready to leave the past behind and forgive her tormentors.

She said: 'Before I had surgery I was picked on for looking different, now I look the same as other girls my age.

'I don't feel like people are staring at me when I walk down the street anymore. I finally feel like a teenager.

'I've carried some hurtful comments with me all my life but now I feel ready to leave the past behind and forgive and forget.'

Her newfound self-assurance has helped her start a relationship with apprentice painter and decorator Ricky, 22, three months ago, who she met through friends.

She said: 'I've had boyfriends in the the past but I don't think any accepted my condition, really. But with Ricky it's never been an issue.
He's seen pictures of me before and told me I was always beautiful - although I wouldn't have had the self-confidence to believe him before.'

Growing up Zara put her rapid aging down to lipodystrophy - a genetic illness which decays bones and destroys fat beneath the skin.

At age four doctors told her she had inherited the condition from Tracey after she developed excess skin round her jawline.

Zara said: 'Mum explained that I had an illness like she did, but that I was beautiful and shouldn't pay any attention to what anyone said.

'The bullying was worst between the ages of eight and ten. Kids used to call me monkey and granny and I was even beaten up just because of how I looked.

'It got so bad I stopped going for a while.'

But even after changing schools Zara's life was made a misery because of her illness.

She recalled: 'I lived in fear of being asked how old I was.
'I was even mistaken for a teacher in school on a couple of occasions, which was just mortifying in front of my classmates.'

After Zara's plight was made public she was contacted by lipodystrophy expert Dr Abhimanyu Garg, from Texas, US, who asked to carry out some tests on Zara and Tracey.

The pair were found to be suffering from cutis laxa, an even rarer condition which can shorten life expectancy, weaken joints and can lung and heart problems.
Although hard news to take in, Zara was later presented with the offer of a facelift and nose augmentation free of charge by top surgeon Dr Robert Ersek.

She said: 'It was an amazing opportunity that I could never of dreamed of before.

'When I saw myself in the mirror after the bandages all came off it was mixture of surprise and happiness.

'I used to hate my nose, but now I love it.'
And thanks to her confidence boost, Zara is determined to go to college and achieve her ambition.

She said: 'I feel much more confident and just happier in general.

'I'm now able to do things like going to college and having a career which I might not have felt possible before.

'The surgery has given me a boost and now I don't fear what other people think.

'I've noticed a change in me and I feel a lot happier.'

And poignantly, Zara says she is all the more determined to live a happy, normal life because of the support she has had from her mother Tracey.

She said: 'I know I'm lucky to have had the opportunity and it's something my mum would have loved to have been offered.

'I want to make something of my life for her - to make her proud.

'I know I'll always have this condition and it may shorten my life, but at least I can feel more like comfortable and confident.

'Although I look younger I still feel older than my years because of everything I have been through.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2347104/Zara-Hartshorn-Teenager-rare-condition-makes-look-middle-aged-given-fresh-hope-facelift.html
http://nairatunes.blogspot.com/2013/06/16-year-old-girl-who-looks-like-60-year.html

1 Like

Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by NessaFresh(f): 2:52pm On Jun 24, 2013
She and Her Boyfriend

3 Likes

Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by R2bees(m): 3:47pm On Jun 24, 2013
dats why i lyk oyinbo pple.. Even if u no get head, u go still hav BF/GF..but come 2 9ja, common slight cut on any part of ur body, u go grow old and die alone o..

90 Likes

Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by nickz(m): 5:51pm On Jun 24, 2013
Feel for her embarassed
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by njazra(m): 5:54pm On Jun 24, 2013
R2bees: dats why i lyk oyinbo pple.. Even if u no get head, u go still hav BF/GF..but come 2 9ja, common slight cut on any part of ur body, u go grow old and die alone o..

grin grin grin

1 Like

Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by executinal(m): 5:54pm On Jun 24, 2013
OK NA
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by dare2think: 5:55pm On Jun 24, 2013
what will she look like when she gets to 60?


Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Codedrock(m): 5:55pm On Jun 24, 2013
Oh my God! Wetin be this? And she has a boyfriend? Although the guy is almost same wit ha... I pity her o, but if i com across this kinda person i go run..

1 Like

Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Lordave: 5:55pm On Jun 24, 2013
okay
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Nobody: 5:55pm On Jun 24, 2013
NessaFresh: She and Her Boyfriend

This man needs to be watched critically.
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by johnwizey(m): 5:56pm On Jun 24, 2013
She still see husband.......chai
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Codedrock(m): 5:56pm On Jun 24, 2013
Ok, WHO ON NL CAN MARRY THIS GIRL WITHOUT CHEATING IF GIVEN 1million dollars.

1 Like

Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by theripper3: 5:57pm On Jun 24, 2013
O boy, sickness no dey finish for oyinbo land. Na progeria I sabi before, I no know say lipo-wetin wetin wetin still dey.
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by kingklaus(m): 5:58pm On Jun 24, 2013
dare2think: what will she look like when she gets to 60?


na burial looks

1 Like

Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Nobody: 5:58pm On Jun 24, 2013
Signs of the end time lipsrsealed grin
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by AbuMikey(m): 5:58pm On Jun 24, 2013
Person life nor get Duplicate ooo.... I duff my Hate for her Boyfriend!!! He get Mind oo.....! Ojuju Calabar Things!!!
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Majikals(m): 5:58pm On Jun 24, 2013
But I must confess,dat guy get mind K..kudos 2him shaa....I no fit
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by AbuMikey(m): 5:59pm On Jun 24, 2013
nadia_SA: Signs of the end time lipsrsealed grin
Nadia U ehn!! gringrin
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Nobody: 5:59pm On Jun 24, 2013
johnwizey: She still see husband.......chai

What is that supposed to mean?

1 Like

Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by premlove(m): 6:00pm On Jun 24, 2013
R2bees: dats why i lyk oyinbo pple.. Even if u no get head, u go still hav BF/GF..but come 2 9ja, common slight cut on any part of ur body, u go grow old and die alone o..
grin
R2bees:
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Iceprincehkn(m): 6:00pm On Jun 24, 2013
Adversities of life!
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Nobody: 6:00pm On Jun 24, 2013
kingklaus:
na burial looks

You are fired cheesy
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Nobody: 6:00pm On Jun 24, 2013
They really need to keep an eye on that boy
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Nobody: 6:01pm On Jun 24, 2013
If she looks like this with surgery,how did she look without surgery.at the dude,aww cute dude.well done.anyway hope you're doing it for love and not pity or the attention.

1 Like

Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by 2fine2fast(m): 6:01pm On Jun 24, 2013
Hope d lipodosky or whatever no reach her down below, na d boyfriend I de do d wondering for oooooo shocked

1 Like

Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Policewoman(f): 6:02pm On Jun 24, 2013
Texas.Cowgirl:


This man needs to be watched critically.

Why? You think he's a golddigger or sum'n? undecided
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by mysticgal(f): 6:02pm On Jun 24, 2013
But she's still beautifull and she's got some self esteemsmiley
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Nobody: 6:02pm On Jun 24, 2013
Na lie. I watched this in a movie entitled Events season One
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by premlove(m): 6:03pm On Jun 24, 2013
Na the under dey important lipsrsealed

1 Like

Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by theripper3: 6:05pm On Jun 24, 2013
prem love: Na the under dey important lipsrsealed

What if dat place dey age like old mama own? Na Gobe b dat o.
Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by Nobody: 6:05pm On Jun 24, 2013
dare2think: what will she look like when she gets to 60?



She'll look 16

1 Like

Re: 16-Year-Old Girl With Lipodystrophy That Makes Her Look 60 by MsSteph(f): 6:05pm On Jun 24, 2013
God made woman for man so matter hw u are u must get ur man. Every1 with their wahala. U think u have problems but som where in d world urs is d smallest

3 Likes

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