A mother’s reaction to her son being called "repulsing" went viral.
Dallas Fowler took to Facebook to share her story which reportedly happened at her local Walmart store on April 7. Fowler wrote that she was at the store with her son, who began signaling her to pick him up. When she did, his shirt exposed two stomas.
The stomas are surgically-created openings that allow the boy’s the body to function normally despite a condition called Hirschsprung’s disease.
Fowler detailed the shocking thing that happened next:
There was an older woman in line behind me who caught a glimpse and shrieked a little before she said to me "why in the world would you let someone do that to him?"
I turned around speechless and just looked at her before she continued and asked why he had them. I gave her the short version and basically said "his colon didn't finish forming so he needed them." I left out that he had a rare disease called Hirschsprung's disease because I was a little annoyed from her first statement. She then goes "well I am sorry but I just think that is so 'repulsing', can you please keep his shirt down?" At this point I just wanted to shake this woman and scream "what is wrong with you?!" But instead, I told her to have a good night and went to another line.
The mother shared a photo of her son with his stomas exposed as a way to show that there’s "nothing repulsive" about him.
"Stomas and ostomies seem to be a taboo, when in reality, over 500,000 Americans have one," she noted. "My [son's] disease may be rare, but his stomas are not."
Fowler then further explained stomas:
So here's a little education for anyone who doesn't know about stomas and ostomies. [A] stoma is [a] surgically created opening that allows body to expel waste. Both of my [son's] are from his colon, but stomas can be from your ileum (small intestine), or bladder.
Was this the first choice of a life I would have chosen for my son? Absolutely not. But this was his only shot at life. When he was 2 weeks old, his colon ruptured. It left him with a life threatening infection that nearly killed him. His stoma saved his life. There is a very good chance he will have these for the rest of his life and if he does, it will be my job to teach him a positive body image. (As its all parents jobs to do that).
It will be my job to teach him to love himself, and his bags. Had he been a couple years older and been able to understand the ignorance the lady was spewing in line behind us, how much of a negative impact do you think that would have had on him?
See what that woman doesn't understand is, when my son is healthy, he is no different than any other 2 year old. He runs, plays, swims and goes to daycare. When he's healthy, you wouldn't be able to look at him and know he's had over 20 surgeries and procedures.
You wouldn't know that he's got more ahead in his future. You wouldn't know he gets painful home dilation and irrigation treatments twice a day every day. You wouldn't know that every day a catheter is put into his stoma to "feed" it stool twice a day in the hopes of growing his colon.
He's my heart. He is so funny, and full of personality. He is sweet and loving and kind but also a little ball of fire.
Please be kind and choose your words wisely, especially should you choose to comment about something that is none of your business. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, and my son is winning his.
The April 7 post has since gone viral, garnering over 67,000 likes and 25,900 shares as of April 22.
Many commenters expressed support and admiration for how Fowler handled the situation.
"You handled her with class and dignity more than she deserved, Bless you and your son is lucky to have you as his crusader and mom," one reader wrote in response to Little Things' article about Fowler and her son.