Bullied boy’s back brace has awesome new airbrushed design
No kid wants to do anything that’ll draw more attention to them when they’re 12-years-old. Puberty and middle school angst is hard enough, throw in a back brace that has to be worn outside clothing, and it’s basically every middle-schooler’s nightmare. So when Ashley King’s son was forced to wear one, the mom got clever.
She took her 12-year-old son, Xavier Holly, to his doctor for an update on his scoliosis then wrote a personal plea on Facebook. “Xavier is going to have to wear this back brace longer then expected. He has scoliosis and Pectus, this is suppose to help him straighten out in his growing years,” she shared.
Okay FB , I just left the Orthopedic Dr. , And Xavier is going to have to wear this back brace longer then expected. He…
“Last year he wore it under his shirt but it’s very noticeable, and got picked on,” the Orlando mom explained. King ended the post asking for help.
Her call to action made its way to Orlando artist and owner of Anarchy Tattoos and Art Co., Angel Ruiza. He contacted King and said he’d love to create something cool for Xavier for free. “I was excited and amazed at how fast it all happened,” King told Orlando television station WFTV. Helping members of the Orlando community he considers home is a passion for Ruiza, who offered free Pulse-themed tattoos after the mass shooting at the gay nightclub this summer.
The group got to work and came up with a gorgeous shark theme design for Xavier’s back brace. The detailed painting is a nighttime scene with dark trees, a mystical-looking moon, and a great white shark swimming through blue and purple waters. “I cried. I never expected it to be so amazing and full of details,” King reported. “It might not seem like a big deal, but to my son, it’s everything!”
So what did Xavier think of the new look? “He was shocked and instantly wanted to wear it to school to show all his friends,” his mom shared. Now the 12-year-old can go back to school with a little less stress about potential bullies. King added, “I’m so grateful that something like this has changed my son’s confidence and makes him smile.”