When Charlie Edgeworth now looks at himself in the mirror, he feels a completely new man.
For the 19-year-old from Wartling Close, St Leonards has been to hell and back in recent years just because of the shape of his body.
He claims he suffered years of bullying at the hand of his high school tormentors and was forced to wear oversized sweaters in the height of summer to hide his size B-cups breasts.
He suffers from a condition called Gynaecomastia where men produce more oestrogen than testosterone. Now after spending £1,750 on breast reduction surgery in Poland, Charlie has turned his life around and is now looking forward to the future. It was back in 2008 when Charlie first started to suffer bullying at school. Bullies started mocking his “moobs” and “man boobs.”
He said: “My moobs stuck out so much the bullies started calling me names. I was only 13. They nicknamed me Mooby. It was really hurtful but they just thought it was a laugh. I hadn’t taken my top off since primary school. I never went topless at home either - my mum didn’t event know. I was so upset during lessons I just walked out of school some days.”
Charlie suffered for three years but managed to pass his GCSEs with flying colours achieving two A stars, two As, five Bs and two Cs. The bullying stopped at the old Grove School when he moved to Bexhill College in September 2011 but he remained very self-conscious. He considered breast reduction on the NHS but said he wasn’t accepted after waiting a year and the cheapest private surgery was £6,000.
So in July this year he decided to take dramatic action. He contacted EuropeSurgery in Wroclaw, Poland where the operation cost was considerably less at £1,750. He sold his beloved Volkswagen Polo and used some of his savings to cover the cost of the procedure and flights. He told his mother, father, two brothers and best friend just before he flew out on August 31. During a two hour operation Doctors removed 200ml of fat and tissue from each breast. The operation was successful and after two days of recovery, Charlie was allowed to fly home on September 3. He has to wear a compression vest for eight weeks but Charlie says it’s been worth every penny. Now Charlie is looking for work until he can go to university next year. He wants to do a degree in Russian and become an interpreter.
“I feel like a completely new man,” he added. “My life can begin again. I can have a relationship now without feeling self-conscious. I have regained my confidence. I’d recommend it to anyone else in the same situation. It was worth all the discomfort and every penny.”
Dr Adam Kalecinski, who carried out the surgery, said: “I am very happy with the results of Charlie’s surgery. The next time I see him will be at one of my UK aftercare clinics. At 19, he is one of the youngest I have worked with.”