Her luck turned around when Dr. Abhimanyu Garg contacted the family. This time, she received another diagnosis and was told she has cutis laxa, a rare connective tissue disorder, which loosens the skin’s elasticity at an early age. The surgeon performed a life-changing surgery on the mother and daughter after they were flown overseas.
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Because of it, Zara got the chance to begin a new life.
“Before I had surgery, I was picked on for looking different, now I look the same as other girls my age. I don’t feel like people are staring at me when I walk down the street anymore. I finally feel like a teenager,” she says.
She one day dreams of opening a beauty salon and is excited with the many doors her newfound confidence will help open. In fact, Zara’s love life began to prosper. She has found love and acceptance with her boyfriend, Ricky. She met him through mutual friends. “I’ve had boyfriends in the the past, but I don’t think any accepted my condition, really. But with Ricky, it’s never been an issue,” Zara says of their relationship.
But the most important thing that has changed is how Zara feels about herself. Along with her surgery, she had a free facelift and nose augmentation. All was done for free under the care of surgeon Dr. Robert Ersek. With these opportunities, Zara can now face herself in the mirror with pride and confidently pursue her dreams.
Zara enjoys this moment with her mother, Tracey. The two are bonded by their personal experiences and triumphs. They both are not out of the woods yet, though, as cutis laxa can cause a lot of other health issues such as lung and heart impairments.
But this is something that Zara is prepared for. She says, “I know I’ll always have this condition and it may shorten my life, but at least I can feel more like comfortable and confident.”
Zara has also learned a lot from the experiences she has gone through. “‘Although I look younger, I still feel older than my years because of everything I have been through,” she adds.