A New Zealand man who has a “DEVAST8” tattoo across the lower half of his face got it removed for free—after his story was read my millions.
Mark Cropp, 19, complained on Facebook that he couldn’t get a job due to the tattoo, later telling local news outlets the same.
Within a few hours, he got dozens of job offers.
Now, he accepted a free offer to have the tattoo removed by Briar Neville, a senior laser technician at Sacred Laser in Kingsland, Auckland. The first of 12 laser removal sessions—worth several thousand dollars—removed the number “8” from his cheek.
“It did hurt, it was like a burning sensation,” he told the Metro. “Briar did just one section and I have to go in next week to see what reaction it has had. If it is all good and dandy I can have more done every six weeks.”
“I’m excited and so grateful for it. I have been feeling quite emotional about the fact people have offered me so much help.”
“I have been really pleased by everything, it has all moved so much faster than how I thought it would have. It is quite overwhelming really.”
He was serving a 2-year prison term when he got the tattoo from his brother, who was also his cell mate. He claims it was supposed to be small—but after the two got drunk, it covered the lower half of his face. “I fell asleep and eight and a half hours later I woke up with this,” Cropp said, according to The Independent.
It was reported that he will get a job doing scaffolding next week.
Douglas George Hebert, who owns scaffolding company PR Contracting, offered him a $22-an-hour job, according to the New Zealand Herald. “We’ve all made bad choices, doesn’t mean we are bad people,” said Herbert. “I’m a big brown man covered in tattoos myself, and I have been on the receiving end of judgment from people who don’t even know me.”