'Thousands of people are laughing at this man, and it cut me to the core'

"I’m sure for most of the people that find the comments funny or share in the online bullying, do not realise he has a condition or thinks about the impact this makes on other people with similar conditions and their family members."

This mug shot of a man that clearly has a webbed neck, most likely from a genetic condition, has gone viral recently.

In just four days it has over 179k comments, almost all of them teasing the man for his neck. I really think we all need to think about humanity and what we are doing with this post.

I’m sure for most of the people that find the comments funny or share in the online bullying, do not realise he has a condition or thinks about the impact this makes on other people with similar conditions and their family members.

Maybe they think their jokes are harmless or "who cares because this man is a felon".

I’m in a support group for Noonans Syndrome and in the past 24 hours, it’s come up several times how hurt WE are.

It's called pterygium colli deformity. Or webbed neck.

It's associated with various medical disorders, most commonly Turner Syndrome.

So I guess the MSM is cool with body shaming, so long as it's the result of a medical condition?https://t.co/RHs4ToJa0g #FoxNews @FoxNews

— Dr. Milton Wolf (@MiltonWolfMD)

My son had Noonan's syndrome

Because of some health complications that arose from it in utero, I spent the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy praying for his survival all while knowing if he were to live, he may be faced with a wide spectrum of physical attributes that “look funny”.

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Ironically it was the day before he passed that I cried and cried and cried for his Noonan syndrome diagnosis. I wondered how “bad” it would be. I felt ashamed for thinking that. I feared the heartbreak and torment he would endure from people like the ones posting on this viral mug shot.

I’m even crying now as I write this just remembering the pain. I’m crying for this man. How hard his entire life must have been and how that life of hating himself and never being accepted impacted who he is today and the life he’s made for himself as a felon. He’s a person loved by God just as much as you or me.I’m crying for those who think this viral post was funny.

It breaks my heart that they don’t see how damaging their thoughts and words are. Perhaps I’m making a bigger deal than it needs to be? Or perhaps anyone engaging on that viral post will see this and now think of me and the son I had to deliver stillborn, the one I never got to tuck into bed or even see the colour of his eyes. My first baby, that although I didn’t choose Noonans and neither did he, he died from. This man didn’t choose it either. I hope once you hear my story you humble yourself and ask how you can be more sensitive to the hurting world around us.

Make warm memories. Your children will probably not remember anything that you say to them, but they will recall the family rituals - like bedtimes and game night - that you do together.


Picture: An example of the features of a child with Noonan's . source: AAFP

I’m sure you have a pain point somewhere inside you and would never want to be crippled with harsh words over. If you want to make a difference:

1. Please take it off your wall if you shared the original post.

2. Share this one.

3. Go to the original post and report it to Facebook as harassment.

As a criminal, this man deserves to be prosecuted for what he’s done. But does that justify the harsh words? I say no, but if you feel differently you’re entitled to that opinion. The more important point to my post is not his feelings. When people say these heartless things about him because of his condition, they are speaking about all with the same condition. Please think about how THEY feel when they see the mug shot comments.

Also, to be clear I do not know he has a genetic condition and if you comment below about him, his feelings, or him as a person, you missed the point.

In summary:

This is about being a kind person. Be kind. Other people with webbed necks and other physical abnormalities are seeing these harsh comments and it’s more than joking and harmless fun to them. This is the stuff children hurt themselves over.

Health and Blessings,

Davins mum.