A mum-of-two has been left with thousands of tumours all over her body, following the birth of her second child.
Charmaine Sahadeo, 38, has a severe case of neurofibromatosis, which causes the painful growths to pop up all over her skin.
The mum says she has thousands of the bumps covering her entire face and even bigger tumours on her right leg – which makes it painful to stand or walk.
As well as the physical effects, Charmaine blames the growths for the breakdown of her 18-year marriage and says that she is struggling to find employment because bosses don’t want to hire her.
Heartbreakingly, she says that she is too scared to go to her sons’ school for any reason, in case the other children see her and start bullying him.
She also says the condition has seriously knocked her confidence and has left her not wanting to leave the house as children run away from her.
Charmaine, from Trinidad, says she has always had the condition, but that the lumps were barely noticeable until after the birth of her second child, who is now 15.
She says since then the number of tumours has rapidly increased and although she’s undergone two surgeries in an attempt to ease her condition, she now says she has run out of treatment options in her home country and is hoping to medics from other parts of the world.
She said: “I have had the condition since birth, but it started getting a lot worse about 15 years ago.
“It was very small and did not show up much until after the birth of my second child. Then after he was born it got a lot worse.
“It’s very painful, especially my leg. Right now when I squeeze the bump something like a large blackhead comes out.
“Sometimes if you do that they can become infected. Once my entire finger swelled up and it was very painful. I have to be very careful.
“I have one of the most serious cases of neurofibromatosis in the world.
“Here in Trinidad there is no help for me at all. I have had two surgeries to try and clear some of the lumps but they have swollen up again.
“I have three huge lumps on my leg and a big one on my side.
“In all I think I have thousands of lumps. On my face and head alone there are probably three thousand or more. It looks like my skin is a strange bubble wrap.
“It is the ones by my eyes that concern me the most. The doctors say they could remove them to stop them blocking any vision but I am too afraid of the risk to my eyesight. I really worry something could go wrong.”
Despite everything, Charmaine says she always try to keep upbeat, despite the horrible things people say to her.
“I get a lot of stares if I go out and a lot of people bring me down,” she said.
“I see myself as a beautiful person and I try not to let people affect me. I can’t let myself be affected by everyone’s opinions.
“Some people do say some horrible things. Some people, especially children, get scared of me and run away.
“One person even told me that if they were in my position they would kill themselves.
“But I’m a happy person. At the end of the day I do everything that a normal person does. How could I think about doing anything to harm myself?”
Looking ahead to the future, Charmaine is hoping to find treatment abroad.
Adding: “I would love to have proper treatment. A couple of years ago I travelled to a clinic in Maryland for four days and they were able to help me.
“I would like to go back or try anywhere else that could help me, whether that is in the US or the UK or anywhere in Europe or Australia.
“Here in Trinidad it is impossible to get help.”
Featured Image Credit: Caters