Kiana Smith, 39, who lives in Cumana, Trinidad, was born with a purple colored birthmark on the left side of her face. The birthmark extends to her chest, neck, back, scalp, and ear. It also covered her mouth and caused her to drool a lot. As a result, she was bullied horribly through school and got called names.
She has now undergone five surgeries and laser treatment to reduce the size of her birthmark. After the surgery, Kiana now feels confident enough to become a global ambassador for the Vascular Birthmark Foundation. However, she is aware that her birthmark could easily grow back.
Kiana said: “The surgeries of my birthmark have helped so much. I mean I don’t have this bulk on my face. As I would describe it, it’s like having this huge one-inch steak, the weight of it hanging on your face. Sometimes I would feel the blood just running and pumping in my birthmark. But I don’t have that anymore. I am able to speak much better which is fantastic.”
A port-wine stain birthmark is the discoloration of human skin caused by the abnormal development of blood vessels.
“It is something that will always be there, always growing,” she said. “The birthmark will never go away. I have accepted that now. I don’t want my whole life focused on the fact that I have a birthmark. I don’t want it to keep me back from enjoying life.”
Despite finally learning to accept the way she looks, Kiana admits that she will never get used to the constant staring in public.
Below is a video of Kiana speaking about her condition.