Inspirational Kirkby mum gets 'royal treatment' from Mansfield beauty queen
An ‘inspirational’ Kirkby mum who suffered a devastating brain tumour affecting her appearance and confidence has taken part in a glamour photo-shoot to encourage others ‘not to hideaway.’
Amy Stones, 34, of Holly Grove, donned satin gowns and a crystal crown to be made a ‘queen for the day’ by Madara Riley – Mansfield’s plus-size beauty queen.
Latvian-born Madara, also 34, selected Amy for ‘royal’ treatment after reading about the young mum’s heartbreaking story in Chad.
Amy’s life was turned upside down when a routine eye check found a 3cm-long ‘acoustic neuroma’ at the bottom of her brain touching the optic nerve.
She underwent a seven-hour operation to remove the benign growth.
However, weeks later she was rushed back to hospital with fluid on the brain and had a shunt fitted. She spent her 28th birthday in hospital.
Treatments left her with facial palsy, which means she cannot fully smile and has nerve damage on the right side of her face.
It ended a promising career as an engineering planner with Huthwaite firm ECS Engineering.
But despite at times feeling low and losing confidence, Amy rebuilt her life.
Married to Adam, she went on to have son Lucas, now 20 months old, and fundraises to help others.
Madara said: “I read Amy’s inspirational story. I wanted to make her feel like a queen, to uplift and empower her. She talked about how the Chad story had helped her speak out about what happened.
"Through the photo-shoot I wanted to give her a confidence boost, demonstrate she is a beautiful woman, a mother, a rock star. I hoped she could use the experience to reach out to others who might feel the same way, be a light to others.”
The shoot took place in woods near Annesley on Monday.
“It was great meeting Madara, it was just what I needed,” said Amy. “At times I’ve been down in a deep hole. My facial palsy always made me feel self-conscious. I was nervous, didn't like going out.
"Madara helped me feel confident in myself. It was quite powerful, wearing the crown, dressing up, empowering and uplifting.
“I say to people, who may have facial or body issues, don’t hide away, you are just as beautiful as anyone else. Be yourself, be proud of who you are.”