A British couple is proving a parents' love for their children is forever, in a very literal way.
Parents Tanya and Adam Phillips both decided to tattoo their legs with large, red birthmarks to match the one that covers their young daughter’s leg, ensuring she never feels alone.
Mom Tanya Phillips explained that her daughter, 18-month-old Honey-Rae, struggled to breathe when she was first born and was rushed to the special care unit. "When I went to see her she was just lying in a little incubator and that’s when I saw it. It broke my heart," she said.
The mother knew that her daughter would be marked for the rest of her life, recalling, “As much as the birthmark isn’t dangerous, I knew it could have a huge impact on the rest of her life. Although in our eyes she was perfect, I knew other people would cruelly point and stare at her.”
She explained that at first, she covered Honey-Rae’s legs when they went out because she couldn’t cope with strangers' curious glances or whispering comments that occurred every time her daughter’s legs were visible.
Tanya Phillips knew that if adults could be so insensitive, children at school would be even worse.
Determined to make sure that her daughter never felt different, the parents decided on duplicate tattoos to match their daughter’s mark.
"We knew we had to do something to ensure Honey-Rae grew up knowing she was very much loved,” Tanya Phillips said.
Honey-Rae’s mom got her tattoo for her 40th birthday, while dad got his as a Christmas present.
"Most people might think it’s very extreme,” the mother said. “But to us it was the natural thing to do to ensure our daughter never felt different or alone in the world."
That tats cost around $124 and took about 2 1/2 painful hours.
"When the swelling went down, I showed Honey-Rae, and she gently touched it and smiled as she said ‘Match,’ pointing to her own leg,” the mom recalls.
"If I’d have needed any reassurance that I’d made the right decision, that was it. She now constantly touches mine and Adam’s tattoos then her own birthmark and giggles – I couldn’t be happier.”