Yarm private surgeon offers free surgery to Stockton boy, seven, bullied over prominent ears

The Northern Echo: OPERATION PLANNED: Craig Watson with his son, Ashley OPERATION PLANNED: Craig Watson with his son, Ashley

THE father of a boy bullied because his ears stick out says he has been left “speechless” by the generosity of a plastic surgeon who has offered to carry out corrective surgery free of charge.

Craig Watson, 33, from Stockton, was desperate to help his son, Ashley, seven, after the local NHS withdrew funding to pin his ears back.

The family were initially told by their GP that the pinning back could probably be done on the NHS, but this was refused on cost grounds.

After going on BBC Radio Tees to talk about his son’s plight the programme was contacted by Yarm-based plastic surgeon Paul Baguley, who offered to perform the surgery Ashley needed, free of charge, in the private sector.

Ashley had been taunted at school because he was born without cartilage at the top of his ears, which meant that they stick out more than usual.

His father said Ashley got so upset that he started to wear a hood all of the time.

After being told of the surgeon’s offer Mr Watson said: “I still can’t believe it. I was speechless when they told me that Mr Baguley had made this offer.”

Determined to help his son, Mr Watson and his wife, Nicola, a 34-year-old nursing student, had started to raise money to pay for the operation.

Mr Watson, who works at the Asda depot in Teesport, said: “People at work have been brilliant and we have already raised about £1,300 because we thought we would have to pay.”

The couple are now considering making a donation to a local children’s hospital.

A spokeswoman for the Define Cosmetic Surgery clinic in Yarm, where Mr Baguley is based, said the full cost of a paediatric ear pinning operation was around £3,200.

In Ashley’s case the procedure is expected to take place at the Nuffield Hospital in York.

A spokeswoman for NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Patient confidentiality prevents us from commenting on individual cases.

“When CCGs were established on April 1, 2013, replacing primary care trusts, all of the 12 CCGs in the North-East adopted the same policy for funding cosmetic procedures, which included pinnaplasty and others.

“This was to ensure a consistent and equitable approach for patients across the North-East region.

“Patients can apply to their local CCG via their GP for an individual funding request, which will be considered on a case-to-case basis.”

Comments (12)

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11:37am Wed 26 Feb 14

HH1954 says...

A spokeswoman for NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Patient confidentiality prevents us from commenting on individual cases.

“When CCGs were established on April 1, 2013, replacing primary care trusts, all of the 12 CCGs in the North-East adopted the same policy for funding cosmetic procedures, which included pinnaplasty and others.

“This was to ensure a consistent and equitable approach for patients across the North-East region.

“Patients can apply to their local CCG via their GP for an individual funding request, which will be considered on a case-to-case basis.”

No thought by CCG's to the effect on this young lad and many others like him / her, who suffer the bullying and torment of their peers and may suffer anxiety and stress related illnesses that bring Mental health Services into play in the future and the associated thousands of pounds in costs that will come to bear managing their difficulties.

Short sighted and driven from the centre by a government intent on cutting the NHS to the bone.

Credit to Mr Baguley for having the foresight and compassion to help this family and their son.
A spokeswoman for NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Patient confidentiality prevents us from commenting on individual cases. “When CCGs were established on April 1, 2013, replacing primary care trusts, all of the 12 CCGs in the North-East adopted the same policy for funding cosmetic procedures, which included pinnaplasty and others. “This was to ensure a consistent and equitable approach for patients across the North-East region. “Patients can apply to their local CCG via their GP for an individual funding request, which will be considered on a case-to-case basis.” No thought by CCG's to the effect on this young lad and many others like him / her, who suffer the bullying and torment of their peers and may suffer anxiety and stress related illnesses that bring Mental health Services into play in the future and the associated thousands of pounds in costs that will come to bear managing their difficulties. Short sighted and driven from the centre by a government intent on cutting the NHS to the bone. Credit to Mr Baguley for having the foresight and compassion to help this family and their son. HH1954
  • Score: 11

12:40pm Wed 26 Feb 14

NOTODDEN says...

Good luck to Ashley and his family
Good luck to Ashley and his family NOTODDEN
  • Score: 7

1:31pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Voice-of-reality says...

A great shame that the lad was bullied. Alas, a defining feature, that surely will come back into fashion upon the accession of Charles to the throne, has been sacrificed due to bullying. One can but hope that should the boy, in the fullness of time, wish to celebrate the regal nature of his ears - that the surgery can be reversed. What has the world come to that a fellow is bullied for having resplendent ears.
A great shame that the lad was bullied. Alas, a defining feature, that surely will come back into fashion upon the accession of Charles to the throne, has been sacrificed due to bullying. One can but hope that should the boy, in the fullness of time, wish to celebrate the regal nature of his ears - that the surgery can be reversed. What has the world come to that a fellow is bullied for having resplendent ears. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 2

3:50pm Wed 26 Feb 14

NO EINSTEIN says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
A great shame that the lad was bullied. Alas, a defining feature, that surely will come back into fashion upon the accession of Charles to the throne, has been sacrificed due to bullying. One can but hope that should the boy, in the fullness of time, wish to celebrate the regal nature of his ears - that the surgery can be reversed. What has the world come to that a fellow is bullied for having resplendent ears.
I agree with VOR 100%, kids really can be quite savage to each other, its the nature of the beast.
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: A great shame that the lad was bullied. Alas, a defining feature, that surely will come back into fashion upon the accession of Charles to the throne, has been sacrificed due to bullying. One can but hope that should the boy, in the fullness of time, wish to celebrate the regal nature of his ears - that the surgery can be reversed. What has the world come to that a fellow is bullied for having resplendent ears.[/p][/quote]I agree with VOR 100%, kids really can be quite savage to each other, its the nature of the beast. NO EINSTEIN
  • Score: 1

8:15pm Wed 26 Feb 14

grandmab says...

Perhaps the funds raised for his procedure should not be given away too soon. The surgeon may be donating his time but is the private hospital donating theirs? He may need that money to cover incidental costs not related to the surgeons fee.
Perhaps the funds raised for his procedure should not be given away too soon. The surgeon may be donating his time but is the private hospital donating theirs? He may need that money to cover incidental costs not related to the surgeons fee. grandmab
  • Score: 0

8:40am Thu 27 Feb 14

lucytilem says...

I have tried for months to get this same procedure done for my 8 year old daughter as she is also being bullied at school. I applied for funding and have now been refused twice. I have appealed this and was told this is a cosmetic surgery which would never be carried out on the nhs... I think it is sn utter disgrace how people are able to get breast enlargement, tummy tucks and gastric bands done on the nhs yet a child who is getting bullied is left to suffer. I have now been to see a consultant in the private sector and been told it will cost £2500 for the procedure to be carried out. Heart breaking!!!!
I have tried for months to get this same procedure done for my 8 year old daughter as she is also being bullied at school. I applied for funding and have now been refused twice. I have appealed this and was told this is a cosmetic surgery which would never be carried out on the nhs... I think it is sn utter disgrace how people are able to get breast enlargement, tummy tucks and gastric bands done on the nhs yet a child who is getting bullied is left to suffer. I have now been to see a consultant in the private sector and been told it will cost £2500 for the procedure to be carried out. Heart breaking!!!! lucytilem
  • Score: 0

9:20am Thu 27 Feb 14

kristal27 says...

Looking at this from a different angle, why should a child have to go through surgery to 'conform' with what is deemed the norm? Bullying? In that case the bullying should be addressed at school, explain why the child has slightly different ears, he has a medical condition. Making this child have an operation to look like everyone else just reinforces the idea that everyone should aspire to have the 'perfect' body, all look the same. The parents a wrong to want an operation -they should be supporting their child and educating him into how to react to negative comments while at the same time reassuring him he is not abnormal. I think the little lad looks ok to me- a handsome little guy -this is probably his parents problem in wanting a 'perfect' child.
Looking at this from a different angle, why should a child have to go through surgery to 'conform' with what is deemed the norm? Bullying? In that case the bullying should be addressed at school, explain why the child has slightly different ears, he has a medical condition. Making this child have an operation to look like everyone else just reinforces the idea that everyone should aspire to have the 'perfect' body, all look the same. The parents a wrong to want an operation -they should be supporting their child and educating him into how to react to negative comments while at the same time reassuring him he is not abnormal. I think the little lad looks ok to me- a handsome little guy -this is probably his parents problem in wanting a 'perfect' child. kristal27
  • Score: 1

10:31am Thu 27 Feb 14

lucytilem says...

I could not disagree more! U cant comment unless uv watched a child go through this... u can address the bullying until the sun goes down but you cannot remove the comments, hurt and insecurity from ur childs mind. As a parent going through the same thing its nothing to do with how we think our child look
Because if ur a parent ur self you would know we all think our children look perfect as they are. Its the long tern physiological effects I worry about!
I could not disagree more! U cant comment unless uv watched a child go through this... u can address the bullying until the sun goes down but you cannot remove the comments, hurt and insecurity from ur childs mind. As a parent going through the same thing its nothing to do with how we think our child look Because if ur a parent ur self you would know we all think our children look perfect as they are. Its the long tern physiological effects I worry about! lucytilem
  • Score: -1

1:49pm Thu 27 Feb 14

kristal27 says...

lucytilem wrote:
I could not disagree more! U cant comment unless uv watched a child go through this... u can address the bullying until the sun goes down but you cannot remove the comments, hurt and insecurity from ur childs mind. As a parent going through the same thing its nothing to do with how we think our child look
Because if ur a parent ur self you would know we all think our children look perfect as they are. Its the long tern physiological effects I worry about!
So -if your teenage daughter was getting bullied for being flat chested -would you try and get her a bust enhancement operation? Or would you tell her she is beautiful how she is and give her support on how to react to those bullies? I your son was getting bullied about ginger hair would you dye it? Sticky out ears are not life threatening and depending on what skills he is given in coping with reactions from others, should cause him no psychological long term effects -when he's old enough to make his own decisions about his health and looks, then its up to him. I stand by my opinion its more to do with parents values, and a **** good marketing tool on behalf of the private Clinic
[quote][p][bold]lucytilem[/bold] wrote: I could not disagree more! U cant comment unless uv watched a child go through this... u can address the bullying until the sun goes down but you cannot remove the comments, hurt and insecurity from ur childs mind. As a parent going through the same thing its nothing to do with how we think our child look Because if ur a parent ur self you would know we all think our children look perfect as they are. Its the long tern physiological effects I worry about![/p][/quote]So -if your teenage daughter was getting bullied for being flat chested -would you try and get her a bust enhancement operation? Or would you tell her she is beautiful how she is and give her support on how to react to those bullies? I your son was getting bullied about ginger hair would you dye it? Sticky out ears are not life threatening and depending on what skills he is given in coping with reactions from others, should cause him no psychological long term effects -when he's old enough to make his own decisions about his health and looks, then its up to him. I stand by my opinion its more to do with parents values, and a **** good marketing tool on behalf of the private Clinic kristal27
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Thu 27 Feb 14

lucytilem says...

Totally different. The decision is not made entirely because of bullying its because the bullying has lead to an insecurity where she wont put sun glasses on or wear a hair band for school of have hair tied back. If she feels conscious of it and its making her unhappy whats the problem. I have brought my daughter up to know all people are different and thats fine.... its others that dont teach their children this. You cannit judge the situation from the information you have been given in this article because it is not a clear idea of what has been going on.
Totally different. The decision is not made entirely because of bullying its because the bullying has lead to an insecurity where she wont put sun glasses on or wear a hair band for school of have hair tied back. If she feels conscious of it and its making her unhappy whats the problem. I have brought my daughter up to know all people are different and thats fine.... its others that dont teach their children this. You cannit judge the situation from the information you have been given in this article because it is not a clear idea of what has been going on. lucytilem
  • Score: -1

9:02pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Jackaranda says...

You're a very lucky lad, Wingnut, when I was at Skool I was bullied, littlebollocks was my nickname yet no Doctor ran to me and said "dinnit worry sunshine, one will give you a free enhancement" ;-)
You're a very lucky lad, Wingnut, when I was at Skool I was bullied, littlebollocks was my nickname yet no Doctor ran to me and said "dinnit worry sunshine, one will give you a free enhancement" ;-) Jackaranda
  • Score: 0

2:59pm Sat 1 Mar 14

theWorkerScum says...

Don't worry most bullies end up on the dole.
Don't worry most bullies end up on the dole. theWorkerScum
  • Score: 0

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