Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fletch Former White Supremacist Tattoo Removal Agony

I read this story tonight about a former white supremacist/skinhead who turned his back on his former life, got married and started a young family. The only thing holding him back was the tattoos all over his face body, of Nazi hate symbols and the like that would stop him getting work. He reached out for help, and an anonymous woman paid the $35,000 needed for their removal. He went through agony to get it done but he says it was worth it. Really heart warming story.

Snippets -
"You are going to feel like you have the worst sunburn in the world, your face will swell up like a prizefighter, but it will eventually heal," Shack told Widner. "This is not going to be any fun. But if you are willing to do it, I'm willing to help." Widner didn't hesitate. "I have to do it," he said, as Julie held his hand. "I am never going to live a normal life unless I do." On June 22, 2009, Widner lay on an operating table, his mind spinning with anxiety and hope. A nurse dabbed numbing gel all over his face. Shack towered over him in protective goggles and injected a local anesthetic. Then he started jabbing Widner's skin, the laser making a staccato rat-tat-tat sound as it burned through his flesh.

Widner had never felt such pain. Not all the times he had suffered black eyes and lost teeth in bar brawls, not the time in jail when guards — for fun — locked him up with a group of black inmates in order to see him taken down. His face swelled up in a burning rage, his eyes were black and puffy, his hands looked like blistered boxing gloves. He had never felt so helpless or so miserable. "I was real whiny during that time," he says.

"He was real brave," says Julie. After a couple of sessions, Shack decided that Widner was in too much pain: The only way to continue was to put him under general anesthetic for every operation. It was also clear that the removal was going to take far longer than the seven or eight sessions he had originally anticipated.

They developed a routine. Every few weeks, Widner would spend about an hour and a half in surgery and another hour in recovery, while Julie would fuss and fret and try to summon the strength to hide her fears and smile at the bruised, battered husband she drove home. It would often take days for the burns and oozing blisters to subside. Shack and his team marveled at Widner's determination and endurance. The Widners marveled at the team's level of commitment and care. Even nurses who were initially intimidated by Widner's looks found themselves growing fond of the stubborn former skinhead and his young family.

1 comment(s):

MathewK said...

I hope he makes something of his life now.

I often see people with various tattoos and wonder if they ever consider how permanent that stuff is.

The odd one in discreet places is alright i think, but some people have them going down the one side of their body. You just can't miss it. Each to his/her own i suppose.

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