A teenager who suffers from a rare genetic condition which makes her look middle-aged has been given new confidence thanks to pioneering facelift surgery.
Zara Hartshorn, 16, from Rotherham, south Yorkshire, had to endure years of cruel taunts and even physical abuse because of her appearance.
She inherited lipodystrophy - which makes her skin looked wrinkled and twisted - from her mother Tracey Gibson who also suffers from the illness.
But after hearing of her condition, a top surgeon in the US offered to perform cosmetic surgery for free. It has proved to be a complete success and Zara has felt able to start a relationship with new boyfriend Ricky Andrews and is even keen to go to college.
Tough: Zara Hartshorn has endured a difficult childhood suffering from a condition which makes her appear middle-aged
New start: Thanks to pioneering facelift surgery, Zara says she feels much more confident about her appearance
Found love: On top of her facelift, Zara has also met a new boyfriend Ricky Andrews
Genetic: Zara, pictured right pre-surgery, inherited the condition from her mother Tracey, left. But sister Chloe, centre, has not been affected
After Zara's plight was made public she was contacted by lipodystrophy expert Dr Abhimanyu Garg, from Texas, US, who asked to carry out some tests on Zara and Tracey.
The pair were found to be suffering from cutis laxa, an even rarer condition which can shorten life expectancy, weaken joints and can lung and heart problems.
She said: 'It was an amazing opportunity that I could never of dreamed of before.
'When I saw myself in the mirror after the bandages all came off it was mixture of surprise and happiness.
'I used to hate my nose, but now I love it.'