A Florida man decided to turn his life around after years of gang activities. His first step was erasing his past-literally. Eriks Mackus decided to remove the tattoos on his face by having a friend use a metal grinder.
Mackus had been in and out of prison since the time he was 12 years old, and recently, at 22, he decided that he was done with this way of life. He decided to become a metal worker, and as he began to hone his skills, he started to think about getting a job. An instructor at welding school, however, told him that he may have a hard time getting a good position with the tattoos on his face. After several failed laser removal treatments, the skilled craftsman had his friend Brian Bodlak, a certified welder, take a grinder to his face and get rid of them.
“They went to Brian’s house, and Eriks drank all the beer and several shots of the rum," reported The Tampa Bay Times. "Brian put a small stainless steel wire bit on a Dremel tool. Eriks lay down on his back and held on to Brian’s leg. The worst part was when Brian poured rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide on the wound and scrubbed the dead skin with a steel wool pad. Tears trickled down Eriks’ face, but he didn’t scream.”
While the method of removal was clearly extreme, the grinder definitely did the trick. Mackus had temporary vision problems in one eye after one of the tattoos was removed, but his vision returned. After finally having his tattoos removed, Mackus went on to take and pass a “Ph.D. of welding” test at Pinellas Technical Education Center, and now, he is headed toward his goal of turning around his life for the better.