A mum whose son was born with half a face has revealed the cruel taunts he has suffered at the hands of other children.
Charlene Beswick said kids would call son Harry, who was born with Goldenhar syndrome, a Halloween monster and run away from him.
The rare condition means Harry was born with no eye, ear, nostril and an underdeveloped jaw on one side, caused by a chromosome abnormality.
Charlene, from Stoke-on-Trent, said: ‘I was in complete disbelief. I just felt guilt. Then I grieved for the life he would never have. I just felt really helpless.’
The 38-year-old said she had a ‘brilliant pregnancy’ with her twin boys Harry and his brother Oliver – but was stunned when told Harry had been born with only half a face.
Suffering with post-natal depression after his birth she added: ‘Even if I had known, I would not have terminated the pregnancy.
‘I look back now and just wish I had been able to see him for what he was – which was a very gorgeous baby boy. He had a big blue eye that was so twinkly and a gorgeous smile.’
Supply teacher Charlene said: ‘Children would cry and run away from him. They would point and follow him around. He has been called a freak, a Halloween monster.
‘I am quite active on social media as well and one said he was an abomination of God. He is largely unaware of these things but it is hard for Oliver – he wants to protect him.’
Harry, now aged 12, was also diagnosed with autism and is nonverbal and has been under the care of staff at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Merseyside since he was two-years-old.
He has a prosthetic ear and a fake eye and will need further operations to reposition it and possibly construct a nasal passage.
Charlene, 38, said: ‘He is just such a loving, amazing boy. He has just got this way about him that people just love, he is just incredible.’
She has lauded the care of the hospital which has been ‘fantastic’.
And Charlene, who said she now encourages people to ask questions about Harry’s condition, has also just published a book called: ‘Our Altered Life’.