Note: This article contains graphic content.
When Keith Crowell went to the barbershop, he had more than just his hair cut. While having his regular trim, a barber accidentally nicked him on both sides of his neck.
Instead of the cuts healing over, Crowell was left with a life-altering condition that caused the wounds to grow. He had two initial surgeries that attempted to remove the tissue, but the flesh only grew back larger and angrier.
At one point he had nearly 40 pounds of excess flesh hanging from his face.Screenshot/Fox 6
Crowell had keloids. Most are susceptible to developing the benign growths, and they can occur anywhere on the body. As Health Line says, while keloids pose few health risks, they may generate a cosmetic concern.
The Wisconsin man suffered for nearly 13 years, unable to get insurance to pay for his procedures. WHNT 19 previously reported that his insurance provider claimed that his condition was a cosmetic issue rather than a health concern. However, Crowell rebutted that the condition inhibited his hearing and swallowing. He added:
“I feel it’s not cosmetic. This is my livelihood. This is my life right here.”
Crowell never lost hope. The church-going man adopted a mantra that kept him going: “Pray until something happens.”
And one day, something did happen.
After Fox 6 broadcasted his story on television in November, Crowell began to generate awareness about his condition.
Through a successful GoFundMe campaign, Crowell was able to raise enough money to fly to New York to have plastic surgery that removed half of the masses.Screenshot/GoFundMe
Crowell just recently returned home from a five-day trip to New York after having undergone the second half of his life-altering surgery.Screenshot/Fox 6
Now, keloid-free, Crowell feels like a new man. He said:
“I feel a lot lighter. It’s a lot of weight off my shoulders. I’m energetic. I feel more of myself. I feel more alive.”
Crowell works in the service industry as a casino security guard, meaning he interacts with other people all day.Screenshot/Fox 6
Since his surgeries, his self-confidence has soared. He added:
“I just feel good about it. I’m more comical. I meet and greet the customers a little more. I’m more of a people person than I was before.”
While Crowell still sports scars on the sides of his neck, they serve as a reminder of his personal strength and growth, as well as the kindness of random strangers who supported him.Screenshot/Fox 6
Crowell is still in the healing process. However, according to Fox 6, doctors say it’s highly unlikely for the keloids to ever return. Crowell has since become on advocate for others suffering from the disfigurement. Crowell is relieved, adding:
“My burden is over with. I can sleep at night. I can eat.”