Derek Prue was like any other eight-year-old boy. He loves to play, hang out with his friends, and play different sports. Especially, swimming! However, there’s something stopping him from taking a swim in the pool with his friends.
Derek has a birthmark covering the left side of his chest. As he grows older, he becomes shy and self-conscious about it that he often doesn’t feel confident to swim in the pool with his friends. More so, it started to affect his confidence.
Derek Prue Sr., Derek’s dad, noticed his son’s reluctance to swim in the pool. He also noticed the change in his son that it prompted him to do something unbelievably selfless.
He wanted to make his son feel that he wasn’t alone. It broke his heart as he watches his son become more and more self-conscious of his birthmark.
“I knew he was self-conscious about it,” Prue said, tearing up. “I saw how he was reacting, and it made me want to do it so that he wouldn’t be the only one.”
Hence, the loving dad secretly arranged to get a tattoo on the left side of his chest.
The tattoo was like Derek’s birthmark.
To make sure the tattoo looks identical to the birthmark, Prue snapped a picture of his son’s birthmark before his tattoo appointment.
Derek was suspicious of his dad’s whereabouts but he never expected his dad’s surprise.
The moment that Prue surprised Derek with his new birthmark tattoo it was one of the most tearful and special days. Derek was busy playing in the hotel swimming pool with his sisters when Prue called him from the side of the pool.
Derek swam to his father and was shocked at what Prue revealed to him.
Lifting Prue’s shirt off, Derek was surprised at the birthmark tattoo.
Derek was so happy that he couldn’t stop the smile from spreading over his face.
“I was happy and I was a little confused,” Derek told CBC’s Edmonton AM. “I didn’t know he was going to do that.”
Prue’s birthmark tattoo took 30 hours to create over a span of six to eight weeks in total. The chest was the most painful part of the body to tattoo, but Prue persevered. He knew that it was going to worth it in the end, so he endured the pain.
“He’s been through the wringer sitting for that,” said tattoo artist Tony Gibbert, owner of the Juicy Quill tattoo studio in Stony Plain, Alta., where Prue had the work done. “It’s pretty painful.”
Prue added: “I remember the first time coming in, laying down and then after maybe three, four hours, I was like, ‘Yeah, are we almost done?’ And Tony’s like, ‘Yeah, we’re almost done the outline.’ I’m kind of glad I didn’t know how long it was going to take.”
Tattoo artist Tony had never inked a birthmark tattoo before, but he was happy to create one for Prue.
“I think it’s amazing to be able to comfort your son like that,” he said. “It’s more than just your kid seeing your name, or something, you get to actually, like, really change the way he feels about himself.
“Just being able to go swimming with his dad and take off his shirt and be happy and comfortable. I’m happy I get to be part of it, in a small way I get to help with what he’s trying to do.”
Thanks to Prue’s efforts, it made Derek slowly regain his confidence.
“Whenever Daddy’s there I can take the shirt off,” Derek would tell his mom at the swimming pool. “Now we have the same marks for life.”
Watch more in the video below.
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