When Amy Poole first got a glimpse of her son, she was shocked to see the tiny baby with a nose that looked a bit different from what she was used to seeing.
In a 2015 interview with the Daily Mail, the mother said she “almost couldn’t speak.” But after a few moments with her baby boy, she knew that she would love him no matter what: no matter what the world threw their way, no matter what he looked like, no matter what people might say. Amy knew she would always love her son.
Like mom Yarraka Bayles, whose son deals with bullies due to his dwarfism, the journey hasn’t been easy for Amy. Ollie is now 21 months old. But because he looks different, he and Amy have to deal with harsh comments from strangers who call him “ugly,” or worse.
See how Amy is responding to the bullies who speak ill of her wonderful son below.
When Amy Poole was 20 weeks along, doctors noticed that her son had soft tissue growing around his nose. Although Amy knew her son may not look like all the other babies, she was still shocked when she first saw him.
Amy told the Daily Mail:
When they gave me Ollie to hold, I was so surprised that I almost couldn’t speak. He was so tiny, but there was this enormous golf-ball-sized lump on his nose. At first, I wasn’t sure how I would cope. But I knew that I would love him no matter what he looked like.
Ollie was born with a rare condition called encephalocele that caused his brain to grow through a hole in his skull and into his nose. Amy made the choice that any mother would make — to love her son unconditionally, even in the face of bullies. As Ollie grew, his nose grew with him. Now Amy calls him a real-life Pinocchio.
Bullies and strangers on the street have called Ollie “ugly.” They even point and stare.
“Once, a woman told me I should never have given birth to him. I nearly burst into tears,” Amy says. “To me, Ollie is perfect. He is my little real-life Pinocchio and I couldn’t be prouder of him…”
Ollie will probably never look like all the other children, and I’m terrified that he will be bullied at school,” Amy says. “But he is such a lovely boy that it’s impossible not to adore him. I think he is absolutely perfect the way he is. There is nothing wrong with being different
Ollie has such a bubbly personality that even his big sister Annabelle is a little jealous. Mom says:
He and Annabelle are best friends — they’re always getting up to mischief. Annabelle is even jealous of Ollie’s nose, as it gets him lots of attention. Sometimes I catch her grabbing it when she thinks I’m not looking.
Ollie has undergone several surgeries. Amy was reluctant to let her little guy go under the knife, but he was at risk for infections like meningitis. Fortunately, the surgeries were a success, and the tyke is doing wonderfully.
“I don’t want other kids to face the nasty comments that Ollie has, and I think the best way to combat this is by educating people,” Amy says. “I’d much prefer if people asked me why Ollie looks the way he does, rather than just telling me he is ugly or pointing and staring.”