People say he is the real-life Pinocchio. But actually, he’s just an ordinary boy from Maesteg, Wales. Just that, he was born with a rare condition, which caused his brain to grow through a crack in his skull into his nose.
At the age of 21 months, Ollie Trezise has already undergone painful procedures to close the gap in his skull and to allow him to breathe properly. Because of what he’s been through at such a young age, his mother, Amy Poole, is very proud of him.
Scroll down for video
Ever since Ollie was born, he was bombarded with harsh comments from strangers. There was one who said, “He should never have been born.” Others just kept calling him ugly.
As his mother, Amy’s heart breaks whenever she hears people talk ill about her son. She recalls, “Once, a woman told me I should never have given birth to him. I nearly burst into tears. To me, Ollie is perfect. He is my little real-life Pinocchio, and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Amy first knew there was something wrong with her son during the 20th week of her pregnancy. Doctors told her that there was an unexpected soft tissue growing in his nose.
Despite the early warning, she was still surprised by his condition upon giving birth in February 2014. “When they gave me Ollie to hold, I was so surprised that I almost couldn’t speak,” she said. “He was so tiny, but there was this enormous golf ball–sized lump on his nose. At first, I wasn’t sure how I would cope. But I knew that I would love him no matter what he looked like.”
Later on, Ollie underwent an MRI scan. It was then found out that the lump was an encephalocele, a condition that causes the brain to grow through a hole.
Nine months following the first MRI scan, it was observed that as Ollie’s body grew, so did his nose, making him appear like Pinocchio.
Terrified that he might not be able to breathe properly in the long run, doctors told Amy that the boy needed to be operated as soon as possible. Worried, the young mother said, “I was so scared to let Ollie undergo such major surgery. He was so fragile, and I couldn’t bear the thought of losing him. But doctors explained that he was at risk of contracting an infection or even meningitis if he tripped and knocked his nose—so I agreed to the surgery.”
By the end of last year, Ollie underwent a two-hour operation at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The procedure involved opening his skull to remove the excess sac of brain fluid and fixing his nose. Thankfully, it ended up successfully.
Amy recalled, “After the operation, Ollie had a huge zig-zag scar across his head. He must have been in so much pain, but he just kept smiling and laughing. His positivity made it so much easier for me.”
Now that he has fully recovered, Ollie is always seen playing with his sister, Annabelle. His mother added, “He is such a character and always has me in fits of laughter. Plus he and Annabelle are best friends—they’re always getting up to mischief. Annabelle is even jealous of Ollie’s nose as it gets him lots of attention. Sometimes I catch her grabbing it when she thinks I’m not looking.”
In an effort to prevent people from bullying kids with such condition, Amy wants to spread awareness. “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. 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,” she stated.
As of the moment, little Ollie still needs to undergo further operations, but doctors are looking for signs of progress before performing more surgeries.
“We have regular checkups at the hospital, and things are going really well,” said Amy. “Ollie will probably never look like all the other children, and I’m terrified that he will be bullied at school. But he is such a lovely boy that it’s impossible not to adore him.”
Amy added, “I think he is absolutely perfect the way he is. There is nothing wrong with being different. Ollie is a unique, clever, funny little boy, and he amazes me every day. He is my special little Pinocchio, and I will never stop loving him.”