Mark Gentle of Farmington, Maine, recently posted this picture of his son Carter, on Facebook. Seven-year-old Carter's congenital heart defect has required him to have five open-heart surgeries in his short life.
#CHDAWARENESS We were a little apprehensive to post this but I feel it's important. Carter took his bandages off this morning. He cried for 45 minutes when he saw his scars. 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?! Feel free to share. #CartersSong #HeartHeroes #CHD
Carter's latest surgery — to repair a pacemaker that he's had his entire life — left him with even more noticeable scars. When Carter looked at his scars in the mirror, he was devastated. And because Carter was devastated, Gentle was devastated.
Hoping to simply get 'likes' and 'shares' from friends and family — and to make his son smile — Gentle wrote the heartfelt post. He was amazed to see the outpouring of support.
With over 1.3 million likes and almost 100,000 shares, the post has provided Carter with a huge boost of confidence. And his dad couldn't be more proud.
“His scars are what makes him, him. They show everybody what he's overcome and that he was stronger than the disease that tried to kill him,” he said.