Alot of us know what it was like to be bullied at school. Kids can be cruel, and the relentless bullying can have a long-lasting effect on us even into adulthood.
I remember being promised as a child that things would be different once I left school and went out into the adult world. But sadly, that’s often not the case. Adults can be just as mean-spirited as children, and the world is full of bullying, no matter who you are or how old you are.
Jessica McDaniels knows this better than most people. She has suffered bullying her entire life because of her smile.
But it was only recently, at the age of 32, that she was singled out for an especially viscious form of bullying that made people around the world boil.
Jessica was beaming happily as she watched her friend get proposed to. She was filming the happy moment and was filled with joy over her friend’s happiness.
But sadly, a viscious by-stander was more interested in Jessica’s smile than the happy event taking place. They took a picture of Jessica and zoomed in to make it an up-close shot of her teeth. The photographer than uploaded the picture to social media and began a cold-hearted bullying campaign online, where thousands of strangers mocked Jessica for her appearance.
When Jessica found out about the photo and saw the comments, she was devastated.
“I didn’t care about them talking about me, I just wanted to protect my kids,” Jessica tearfully told KSDK News, before adding that the hateful comments included people telling her that she should “be in a zoo” and that she “shouldn’t even have kids.”
An unexpected helper
But luckily, there was one person from Jessica’s past who was not only disgusted by the bullying, but who was determined to do something to help.
Jessica’s old classmate Krystal Starks came to Jessica’s defence, starting a Go Fund Me page to help fund oral surgery for Jessica.
“For a person doing something innocent, for them to be caught off-guard and taken advantage of like this is horrible,” Krystal says. “And for what? For likes on Facebook?”
The account quickly reached its goal of USD $10,000, with many people showing strong support for Jessica. But as luck would have it, one of the people who saw the campaign was oral surgeon Dr. Maryann Udy. She was moved by Jessica’s story and knew she could help – and she offered to perform Jessica’s dental work free of charge.
“I definitely wanted to help her because of how she handled her situation,” Dr. Udy tells KSDK News.
And weeks after her first surgery, Jessica is almost recognisable, and is overwhelmed by her transformation.
“It was life-changing. I had been like that for 32 years, and for that to change, it was like ‘Who are you? What are you gonna’ do now?’,” she tells KSDK News.
And Jessica certainly has some ideas of what she’s going to do now. She has set up a non-profit organization to help others with their dental work, the way these kind strangers helped her.
“I’m just so happy and I wanna’ make others happy too.”
You can watch a news report about Jessica and see her incredible transformation below:
Bullying has no place in real life or online. We are all the same, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Share this story if you agree.