Clinic brings model hopes for Jessica

Katie O'Connell, camouflage pharmacy technician, and Jessica Yorke
Katie O'Connell, camouflage pharmacy technician, and Jessica Yorke

A TEENAGER once bullied over a facial birth mark is now entering modelling competitions after getting help from the UK’s only child camouflage clinic at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Jessica Yorke, 13, was born with a red lump above her top lip, now the size of a 10p, and endured years of unhappiness until the skills she learned at the hospital’s pharmacy clinic gave her confidence.

She said: “Things got worse as I got older especially when I moved from primary school, where people were used to my birth mark, to secondary school. It was really annoying as people constantly asked me about it and would think I had fallen over or been hit. I tried to cover it up with make-up but if it was cold the lump would get brighter.”

Her mother Tina, from Maltby, Rotherham, said she constantly had to explain the birth mark to people as well as watching her child get bullied.

Tina and husband Michael have been told by surgeons that an operation would leave a prominent scar and the children’s camouflage clinic was a better option.

Camouflage pharmacy technician Katie O’Connell said: “We try really hard in this clinic to build up the child’s confidence because we get some amazing results, often with important psychological effects. It’s particularly exciting for Jessica that now she feels confident enough to try modelling.”

The clinic uses specialist water-resistant make-up and departments including dermatology, occupational therapy, plastics and burns refer patients to them.