NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bullied about his ears, a little boy came to New York for a chance at a life-changing procedure.
He’s a blue-eyed, blond 9-year-old from a small town in Idaho. Normal in every way except for his ears and that has made Trenton Vance a target for bullies.
“They would call me antenna ears and Dumbo and they’d ask me if I fly and then they would flick my ears,” he said.
“He was really quiet, didn’t want to go to school,” said Trenton’s mother Alisha Vance. “When I asked him about it, he’d start crying, saying ‘don’t make me go, I don’t want to go.”
When his mom caught Trenton pulling his ears back in the mirror, she knew she had to do something, but both parents were recently unemployed.
“It was pretty expensive, about $10,000 and insurance wouldn’t cover it because it’s not something that needs to be done,” Alisha said.
An internet search turned up Dr. Tom Romo and his Little Baby Face Foundation.
“The Little Baby Face Foundation’s mission it to provide pro-bono surgical services for children with facial birth defects from extremely complex to not so complex,” said Romo.
Trenton underwent surgery at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital to correct his problem. Dr. Romo removed some excess cartilage behind his ears and sutured them back closer to his head.
Trenton’s mom hoped the two-hour surgery would change her son’s life.
“I think he won’t be so withdrawn,” she said. “He’ll be more willing to make new friends since he only had two good friends last year.”
“Make it so that I don’t get picked on about my ears,” Trenton said.
Five days later, the bandages came off and Trenton was able to see his new ears for the first time.
“I like it,” he said.
Trenton was a little overwhelmed that day, but sensed what this will do for him.
“A big difference because I wont get picked on as much,” he said.
Trenton will have to wear a headband over his ears for a couple of weeks to let them heal in place permanently.
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