Did Facebook Heal This Little Boy’s Scars?

posted: 04/15/15
by: TLC

Carter Gentle is just 7 years old but has already undergone five open heart surgeries. The Farmingham, Maine, native and his family have been struggling with his congenital heart defect which left him with a pacemaker. The hardest part for Carter? The numerous scars that run across his chest and make him feel different from other kids. According to his dad Mark, the scars have often left Carter in tears.

"He went down to the bathroom to look in the mirror and he just started sobbing" Gentle told TODAY Parents. "He said, 'People are going to think I'm ugly. My scars look horrible.' As a parent, it just tears your heart out. As much as that kid's been through, the last thing I ever want him to worry about is scars."

So Mark Gentle did something a little unconventional: He started a Facebook campaign aimed at giving Carter as much moral support and love as possible.

#CHDAWARENESS We were a little apprehensive to post this but I feel it's important. Carter took his bandages off this...

Posted by Mark Gentle on Saturday, 11 April 2015

"Carter took his bandages off this morning. He cried for 45 minutes when he saw his scars," reads the post. "He said that he's afraid people will think he is ugly. This was hard to hear as a parent. We told him that his scars are beautiful and make him look like a superhero. How many likes can Carter get for his bravery?"

The post spread like wildfire. More than 1.3 million (!) people have "liked" it on Facebook so far. And what's even better? Commenters shared their personal stories, struggles, and triumphs with scars.

To bolster Carter on his road to recovery, Mark turned the volume up on his phone so that he could here every single time someone "liked" the post about him.

"He would look at me with these big eyes each time and say, 'Dad, is that for me again?'" said Gentle. "It's been a huge confidence booster and it has been therapeutic for Carter."