By Bethany Gleave
A mum of three has appealed for people to send cards to her five-year-old son to prove that it’s what’s on the inside that counts after he told her he hates his face and wants a new one.
Warren Armstrong, 5, has Moebius syndrome which means he is unable to move the left side of his face as he is missing two nerves.
Mum, Jannine Atkinson, 30, was heartbroken after Warren made the confession and decided to try to prove to him that it is what is on the inside that counts, by asking people to send him cards to show how loved he is.
As part of his Moebius syndrome Warren also has partial vision and syndactyly of his hands meaning his fingers and thumbs are fused together.
Jannine said: “It is completely heartbreaking to know that this is how he feels. He is only five yet he hates the way he looks.
“He only started saying it to me a few months ago. It seemed to come out of nowhere.
“No one at school has ever mentioned how he looks and no one we have met in the past have ever said anything.
“I just don’t know what to do to help him. I tell him all the time that he is beautiful and that it is what is on the inside that counts but he still hates his face.
“As a mum it really breaks my heart. No one should hate how they look at only five years old.
“He’s an incredible little boy, he has a great personality and will talk to anyone so I hate seeing him upset.
“It was one of my close friends that came up with the idea and I thought it sounded brilliant.
“If we could just get a few people to show Warren that he is loved and that people love him for who he is I would be happy.
“We have had a really good response so far; the cards are even coming from people we don’t know.
“It’s been amazing and every single one has made Warren smile. I can’t thank everyone enough.
“I just hope it gives him a confidence boost and shows him that he is amazing the way he is and doesn’t need a new face.
“As cheesy as it sounds it is what’s on the inside that counts, not what is on the outside.”
Warren was born with Moebius syndrome and mum Jannine and dad Keith Armstrong, 36 were told at the 20 week scan that Warren only had 2 thumbs and no fingers.
Payment manager Jannine said that as Warren has the lack of movement on the left of his face, loss of vision and syndactyly of his hands he is described by medical professionals as one in a million.
Jannine said: “At his 20 week scan we were told that he could have down syndrome because of the way he was pouting.
“They also told us that he only had two thumbs and no fingers. We had an idea that when he was born there would be some medical issues for us to face.
“At four months a consultant confirmed it was Moebius. It is very rare, especially as he has partial vision and the syndactyly of the hands.
“Warren is actually described as one in a million which suits him. The partial vision is caused by the lack of nerves and muscles in his face.
“Not many medical professionals know what Moebius is, we have to take him to A&E a lot as he often bumps into things but the nurses aren’t fully aware of the syndrome.
“He doesn’t really let it bother him. He still does what every normal kid does. The only thing that is bothering him is his face.
“He also asks me and Keith when his hands are going to grow big like ours. Hopefully these cards will make him realise how amazing he is.”