A toddler whose brain is growing into his nose has been called a "real-life Pinocchio" by his proud mother.
U.K. boy Ollie Tresize was born in February 2014 with a rare condition known as encephalocele, which has caused his brain to grow through a crack in his skull and into his nose.
The 21-month-old has been forced to undergo painful operations in order to breathe, Express reports.
The boy’s mother, Amy Poole, noted that many have said Ollie "should never have been born" and have called him "ugly."
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“To me, Ollie is perfect,” Poole said. “He is my little real-life Pinocchio, and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
It was discovered that something was wrong with Ollie during Poole’s 20-week pregnancy scan, when doctors noticed unusual soft tissue on his face.
“At first I wasn’t sure how I would cope,” Poole said. “But I knew that I would love him no matter what he looked like.”
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Poole was hesitant when doctors suggested that Ollie receive the surgery to open his nostrils and close the crack in his skull. However, when they explained that Ollie was at risk of receiving an infection or meningitis, she agreed.
In November 2014, Ollie underwent the surgery, which involved cutting open his skull and removing an excess sac of brain fluid. Doctors also rebuilt his nose.
Now, Poole hopes to spread awareness of Ollie’s condition and prevent kids like him from getting bullied.
"I don't want other kids to face the nasty comments that Ollie has, and I think the best way to combat this is by educating people," she said. "I'd much prefer if people asked me why Ollie looks the way he does, rather than just telling me is ugly or pointing and staring."
"Ollie will probably never look like all the other children, and I'm terrified that he will be bullied at school," she added. "But he is such a lovely boy that it's impossible not to adore him."