The family of a 7-year-old boy who suffers from a congenital heart defect (CHD) aims to raise awareness of the condition and lift their son’s spirits by posting his photo on social media.
Carter Gentle, of Farmington, Maine, had to undergo five open-heart surgeries, with the latest procedure repairing a pacemaker that he has had since birth.
His father, Mark Gentle, posted the following photo on Facebook:
#CHDAWARENESS We were a little apprehensive to post this but I feel it’s important. Carter took his bandages off this morning. He cried for 45 minutes when he saw his scars. He said that he’s afraid people will think he is ugly. This was hard to hear as a parent. We told him that his scars are beautiful and make him look like a superhero. How many likes can Carter get for his bravery?! Feel free to share. #CartersSong #HeartHeroes #CHD
Gentle wrote the heartfelt post in order to get “likes” and “shares” from friends and family to make his son happy. Well, he got what he was hoping for and then some.
The post’s more than 1.5 million likes and over 100,000 shares has been a huge boost of confidence for his son.
"His scars are what makes him, him,” Gentle said. “They show everybody what he's overcome and that he was stronger than the disease that tried to kill him. I've been able to explain to him that there's a lot of people that have a lot of scars, and that you need to be proud of your scars.”
According to Today.com, Gentle, who lives with his wife, two daughters and Carter, is helping to spread awareness for CHD by performing “Carter’s Song,” in which he tells the story of his son’s illness.
Check out the song below: