A loving dad had an identical replica of one of his son’s surgery scars tattooed on his head, to help him feel more confident when he grows up.
Drake Britt, 26, got inked after his one-year-old son, Damian, had to have emergency surgery to remove a cyst from the right side of his skull.
Damian was rushed to hospital by air ambulance where doctors performed the intensive neurological procedure.
The operation was a complete success and Damian is back to full health, but he’s been left with a snaking scar across the top of his head.
Dad Drake hopes the body art will help his son wear his scar with pride and confidence as he grows older.
The doting father-of-two, from Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, said:
What if anyone ever picks on him or tries to make fun of him in school? I don’t want him to have to worry about anything.
I’m hoping that he’s going to be excited that I have the scar too, and won’t be self-conscious. It’s to symbolise that if I could have taken the scar, I would have.
His surgery was the biggest thing we’ve ever had to go through in our lives. I wanted to show my support for him. Now, he’s not the only one who will have a scar for life.
The family’s ordeal began in March 2018 when Damian was on his dad’s lap watching TV and Drake noticed one side of his head was bigger than the other.
He and his girlfriend, 21-year-old Emily Stobo, Damian’s mum, took the tot to hospital where X-rays revealed a cyst the size of a tennis ball on the right side of his skull.
Damian was airlifted to Vancouver Children’s Hospital for surgery to remove the growth, but despite it being successful, Damian spent 24 hours on life support.
Finally, in the middle of the night, he started breathing on his own. It was the biggest relief ever.
Damian was discharged after four days, but the bone in his skull took three months to heal.
As soon as Drake saw the lengthy six inch scar on his son’s scalp, he decided to get inked with a tattoo to match.
Family friend and tattoo artist, Joel Wiggers, of Joel Lee Tattoos in Naimano, stepped up to the challenge of bringing the body art to life.
His dad felt very helpless that he couldn’t do anything for his son. He didn’t want his son to go through it alone and have such a big scar on his head.
It was a first for me. I thought it was a beautiful gesture to make for his son, because I have my own kids as well. It will definitely bond them closer later on in life.
While the rest of his family were on a nearby camping trip in early May, Drake, who has three other tattoos, snuck out to the parlour to get inked as a surprise. His girlfriend, Emily, cried when she saw it.
She was so happy that I was willing to do something like that. Out of all my tattoos, it definitely means the most to me.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.