Kindergarten Boy Bullied Over Ears Gets Surgery
INSIDE EDITION follows a 6-year-old boy who was bullied so much over his ears that his parents had them surgically altered.
He may be the youngest bullying victim the country. Ryan Howard is only 6 years old but his mom says some kindergarteners at his Massachussetts school pick on him because his ears are big and stick way out.
"They say, 'Your ears aren't good. Your ears are nasty,' and all bad words," said Ryan.
Ryan compares his ears to his sister's and would often look in the mirror and hold his ears back.
Ryan's mom, Jennifer Pitrat told INSIDE EDITION ,"They would say he looked like an elf. As a mom, I want to fix everything that I can."
But his 24-year-old mom says, as a nursing student, she couldn't afford the surgery to correct Ryan's protruding ears.
But then Jennifer stumbled upon The Little Baby Face Foundation which offered to cover the cost of the surgery. Ryan was overjoyed.
"The ear doctor is going to fix my ears to go like that [as he pulled his ears back]," said Ryan.
Mother and son traveled to New York City and met with facial cosmetic surgeon Dr. Thomas Romo. Dr. Romo wasn't surprised that Ryan was bullied, even at six years old.
"39 percent of children that are bullied are bullied just because of the way they look," said Dr. Romo.
On the day of the surgery, Ryan and his mom checked into Manhattan's Lennox Hill Hospital. Sitting on his mom's lap, Ryan was wheeled into the operating room. For this anxious mom, seeing her little boy in the O.R. was emotionally overwhelming.
Dr. Romo began the multi-step operation to pin Ryan's ears back. INSIDE EDITION watched as Dr. Romo tugged on a suture. Next, a second suture gave Ryan's ear a natural look.
Dr. Romo said, "Now what we're going to do is we're going to bring the earlobe down."
With one ear done, Dr. Romo started on the other side. Four hours later, Ryan was wheeled out of the O.R. and into recovery. Six days later, it was time to remove the bandage for the big moment.
"Look how good they look! They're beautiful," exclaimed Jennifer.
Ryan's reaction of an ear-to-ear smile said it all.
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