By Liana Jacob
THIS WOMAN was bullied severely for a condition that left her with cysts in her face and considered suicide but was saved from death by her ‘guardian angel’ the dream man she first met online and is now happily married to.
Courtney Blackmore (22), from California, USA, was born with cystic hygroma, a rare growth that usually appears on a baby’s neck or head.
She was born with cysts on her face, which caused her to become cruelly bullied during high school, resulting in her developing suicidal thoughts in 2014 until she got to know her now husband, Chad Andrews, online and they gradually fell for each other.
They have since tied the knot in October 2017 and he has become her caregiver, escorting her to her doctor’s appointments and tending to her every need. She has had over 24 surgeries in her life to help her with her condition, including a metal plate removed from her face.
She has been told that due to the chronic illness she has from her birth defect, that her life expectancy is unknown as her illness is destroying her body.
“My husband has become not only my guardian angel, but my saving grace,” Courtney said.
“He saved me from ending my life back in 2014, he’s been a blessing in my life I don’t know what I’d do without him.
“In 2014 at the end of the year I started to go have suicidal thoughts. I wanted to end my life because I didn’t want to be here anymore and after this was going on my mom had sent me for counselling.
“Then I met my husband online. We helped each other get out of a really dark place and helped each other see our lives mean so much more so we need to stick around and enjoy it.
“What most impacts me is how people see me or how they treat me. I was bullied a lot so how people see me and how I impact them is what matters to me the most.
“I felt very torn down and hurt – it was horrible being bullied, I’ve been bullied all my life. The worst time was when I was in high school.
“Guys in my school would corner me, hit me and call me horrible names. Sadly, because I didn’t meet my husband until 2014, I was alone at the time, but he’s been amazing since I met him, helping me spread awareness about bullying.
“I love myself and I’ve come to accept that I am different, and I am ok with that – it’s good to be unique and be your own person.
“My husband and I met online. We started talking as friends, things just sparked between us, so we met up. Even though we lived two towns apart, so it was a drive to see each other, but it was worth it.
“When I got engaged and married it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. My husband is my rock, my soulmate.
“My husband has helped me by not only by being my best friend and caregiver, he’s been through surgeries with me.
“He’s going through all of my chronic illness journey with me and he’s always right beside me, ready to take on our next challenge together.”
Cystic hygromas can increase the risk of miscarriage and may even be life-threatening. The sacs usually form between the ninth and sixteenth week of pregnancy.
Treatment may be needed if the condition hinders the breathing or feeding as the cysts fill with fluid and swell or if infection develops.
The main risks of cystic hygroma are; recurring growths, bleeding, infection in the affected area, damage to muscles, nerves, or tissues from surgery to remove the hygroma which is a collection of cerebrospinal fluid without blood located under the dural membrane.
Courtney now credits her husband and her YouTube channel for her new perspective on her life and confidence.
“My YouTube channel ‘CourtneyLuvsToSing’ is what made me embrace my beauty. I put myself out there because why be afraid to put yourself out there? Our lives are so beautiful, so why not show our beauty to the world?” she said.
“Never give up, always keep your head up and never let anyone bring you down – you are you for a reason, so you need to embrace it.
“I want to convey that it’s OK to be different, it’s OK to be yourself. Don’t let anyone bring you down or change your attitude, just be you and forget the haters. You’re too amazing for them anyway!”
Courtney says she may not have to have anymore surgeries for her cysts, but due to her chronic illness, she may need more treatment for this.
At the moment the fluid in her cysts are stable, but she does worry that it may get worse, but thanks to her medications, it is well managed, and she doesn’t suffer from any side effects. Apart from being unable to work, she says that there are no other limitations to what she can do.
“When it comes to my birth defect, it can come back but at this moment it’s stable, but I always do have the fear of my birth defect coming back,” she said.
“I take a lot of medications because I am so sick when it comes to be chronically ill but everything is pretty well managed, so I don’t have any side effects.
“We don’t know how long I’m going to live for and if anything were to kill me it would be my chronic illnesses that I face because they are destroying my body.
“I never thought I would find true love, but when we found each other it was just fate – we needed each other.”
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