Zara Hartshorn, a U.K. teenager who was diagnosed with a rare condition called lipodystrophy that makes her appear middle-aged, recently got a face-lift to appear like her age.
The 16-year-old from Rotherham said she was taunted for years and suffered physical abuse due to her appearance, which she said makes her look like she’s 60 years old, reported the Daily Mail.
Lipodystrophy makes her skin appear wrinkled and twisted. Her mother and sister both suffer from the condition, which also decades bones and damages fatty tissues.
A plastic surgeon in the United States offered to help her for free. Her condition was publicized when she was 12 after the surgeon offered to help her.
“Before I had surgery I was picked on for looking different, now I look the same as other girls my age,” she told the publication. “I don’t feel like people are staring at me when I walk down the street anymore. I finally feel like a teenager.”
She told the Daily Mirror: “Growing up I never thought this day would come. I thought I would be the same for ever.”
“I remember the unhappy little girl who was bullied and I want to go back and tell her it will all be all right. Now when I look in the mirror I can see opportunities that weren’t there before.”