Parents can go to any length to support their children, from being highly tough to heartwarmingly sweet. A British dad has proved that point once again when he decided to do a surgical tattoo on his head to support his little daughter battling with brain surgeries. Yes, we are having misty eyes too!
The Super Dad
Gareth Hickenbottom-Marriott has got a tattoo of a brain shunt on his head to support his 10-year-old little girl, Briar, who has multiple brain surgeries. He wanted his girl to see what was going on inside her head, and to give her the message, that she is not alone in this battle. Also, he previously tattooed a cochlear implant, similar to the one Briar has to help her on daily basis.
The Health Condition
10-year-old Briar is suffering from Goldenhar Syndrome, which affects her vision and eating. She also has the condition of ‘Hydrocephalus,’ which causes fluid to build up inside her brain. Briar is undergoing a long treatment since she was just a baby, in the Birmingham Children’s Hospital. During a recent surgery, the team of doctors there inserted a shunt in her brain, to relieve the pressure created by the fluid accumulation. The little girl already has had 21 brain operations during this short period.
Hickenbottom-Marriott told that the idea of doing the brain shunt tattoo came to him when he thought of doing something different to cheer up his little girl. There are few people around the world with a cochlear implant tattoo on their heads, but he had never seen anyone tattooed with a brain shunt. While people generally go for ribbons and drops of water to represent the condition of hydrocephalus, he wanted to go on to the extra length to support his daughter. These deeply meaningful tattoos have created a strong bond between this father-daughter duo helping them to find a special way to stay connected amid their challenging life.
Available books on fatherhood haven’t prepared this dad for the real and untold issue of taking daughters into public restrooms. With parenthood often told from the mother’s point of view, this father from California, Muhammed Nitoto shared a post to address the restroom issue on his social media page titled “Chronicles of Daddy”. The post quickly went viral.
Why Men’s Restrooms Aren’t a Good Choice
Should it be okay for fathers of young girls to use women’s bathrooms when looking out for their young daughters? The opinion is divided. Nitoto decided to share his experience of being out on his own with his young daughter and having to change her in an establishment that didn’t offer family restrooms. As many men would, he took her to the men’s room and immediately saw the restroom from a different perspective. This dad believes that men’s restrooms don’t have the same standards of hygiene nor are they as well-equipped for child care as women’s restrooms are. Determined not to continue exposing his daughters to this type of environment, he opted to start using women’s restrooms instead with as much courtesy as he possibly could, making sure he wasn’t making anyone uncomfortable.
The Response This Dad Received
The majority of the support Nitoto received for his decision to use women’s public restrooms when changing or helping his daughters came from mothers who read his post. It seems that parents in general understand the difficulty of Nitoto’s decision and having to do what’s best for the child. He spoke to Good Morning America saying that his post was meant to spark a conversation that could help other active fathers out there and show support for those who have been in the same situation. However, not everyone agrees, as Dr. Alice Dormar wrote that using the women’s bathroom should be a “last-resort choice” for fathers. The fact remains that, until family bathrooms or unisex bathrooms become the norm, many parents out there will still have to face the same issue.