Jamie Henley, 37, has suffered from an unusual birthmark all her life. The Port Wine Stain covers of her face, neck, chest, and back. The birthmark has also disfigured her mouth, halting her ability to smile, eroding her gums, and engendering fatal, chronic abscesses. Henley has been incapable of smiling for years and yet to find a dentist who is willing to treat her without fear of bursting a blood vessel, which would place her life in extreme peril.
Matters turned around for Henley in October when she met a New York dental specialist who is willing to save her teeth in the hope that she will gain the ability to smile. Henley has not be treated by a dentist since she was eight years old. She was repeatedly turned away, with the fear that they (dentists) would make the wrong move and further injure her. Henley expressed her desire to have a beautiful smile, believing that it would help her move on with her life.
Dental issues have not been the only ailments resulting from Henley’s birthmark. She is frequently afflicted by migraines and vision problems because the mark intersects with her left eye, causing legal blindness. At eleven years old, she went through surgery to correct the issue and her bottom lip was reconstructed. Additionally, Henley has to receive laser surgery three to four times a week as a means of retaining PWS health.
Henley’s birthmark did not activate until her twenties, which then led to the laser surgery. She compared the sensation to a “feeling of a thousand rubber bands.” She is now on a mission to raise $6,000 to fund a trip to the dentist where he will perform root canals, extractions, and implants. She hopes to undergo surgery before it is too late. She has been the victim of innumerable stares from strangers, engendering feelings of hurt, isolation, and loneliness.