Life-changing surgery

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The new-look Khellsey-Anna Atley. Photo: Luisa Girao

AN Invercargill resident says her days of low self-esteem are now in the past.

After being told there was no funding in the public health sector for her to have breast reduction surgery, Khellsey-Anna Atley decided to fundraise to have the “life-changing” operation.

The cost of the surgery was $20,000 and she could not afford it.

As published in Southland Expressin May, the 22-year-old nursing student started fundraising to help with the cost of the operation.

Although Ms Atley raised $10,000, she said the most rewarding experience was the community support.

“It was overwhelming.

“After the story has been published, people from all over the country messaged me and I could talk with a lot of girls who had also experienced the same issues I had.

“It was inspiring.”

She had the bilateral breast reduction last month in Dunedin Hospital with the doctors taking “1.8kg in total” from her breasts.

Khellsey-Anna Atley recovering from surgery. Photo: Supplied

She went from a size H to C.

Everything was great, she said, and she was recovering well at home in Invercargill until she started to feel a strong pain.

She ended up back in hospital with “what they thought was a small collection of fluid in one breast”, but was actually a blood clot.

Even with the complication, she said she did not regret the decision.

“I would do the surgery in a heartbeat. I have no words to describe how I’m feeling.

“Now I can proudly look at the mirror and feel that I’m in the right body.”

Her previous large breasts had caused her chronic pain, which some days did not allow her to get out of bed.

“I’m still sore but it is different.

“In these past few days, I have learnt a lot – even how to walk because I don’t have the weight and the back pain any longer.

“I also don’t need to wear a bra all the time. “I feel free and happy as I never felt before.”

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