A SCOT whose life was ruined by a facial deformity has completed corrective surgery and declared: “I am happy for the first time in my life.”
Rory McGuire, 23, has also set up his first Twitter account to inspire others never to give up in adversity.
Rory, from Ayr, suffered vile abuse from bullies after he was born with a rare birthmark called a venous malformation of the upper lip.
Throughout his childhood he faced insults such as “you look like an alien” and had to endure being called “sausage face”.
Between the ages of 17 and 22, Rory underwent around 16 operations to allow the birthmark to finally be removed.
Now, having fully recovered from his final operation, Rory is determined to fight the prejudice that he faced for years.
He tweeted from his new account, set up on June 5, @MeAndMyVM: “I made this Twitter account to share some of my previous and also upcoming Instagram and Facebook posts which could help and/or inspire others.
“I have now recovered from the operation and the difference it has made is incredible.
“I am happy for the first time in my life.”
In the early hours of Wednesday morning Rory shared a video with his followers chronicling his battle with disfigurement and his own demons.
In it, Rory says: “People stared and laughed at me almost every day throughout my childhood.
“By the age of 17 I was very sad and just wanted all of the emotional pain to stop.”
The video, which was posted as part of disfigurement charity Changing Faces’ online Face Equality campaign, also shows pictures of Rory enjoying life having fully recovered from his operation.
He said: “Let’s teach each other about the harmful effects that prejudice can have on people so that more people can enjoy their lives and not have to worry about being prejudiced.
“At one time I felt that dieing wouldn’t be a bad option, and there are people going through those same feelings every single day.
“Whatever you are going through in life, however difficult, stay strong.”
Having endured the “painful and hard” recovery period, Rory is enjoying being free from his birthmark and the horrors that came with it.
The golf fanatic now has almost 6,000 followers on Instagram and his inspirational Facebook posts have previously been picked up by newspapers across Scotland.
Posts showing him posing alongside his dad with matching beards, as well as pictures of Rory in the gym and out with friends, are now daily occurrences.
With this established presence online, he will be hoping that his Twitter page will be similarly successful in raising awareness for sufferers like him.