Dad gets tattoo tributes on his face and body after baby tragically passes away
A dad got tributes to his daughter tattooed onto his body after she tragically passed away.
Andrew Doherty, who goes by the name 'Skat Dagger’, said the inkings help him to feel closer to his little one.
Back in 2017, the 33-year-old and his ex-partner lost their daughter Winter Rose when she was just 14 months old.
The tot had been diagnosed with sickle cell disease, an inherited condition in which a sufferer's red blood cells are an abnormal shape.
Following the heartbreak of losing Winter, Skat suffered from severe depression and even considered taking his own life to be reunited with her again.
However, after seeking help from mental health professionals and being prescribed antipsychotic medication, he found the strength to carry on.
Skat decided to get inked to serve as a permanent reminder of baby Winter.
He got a series of tattoos to commemorate his daughter’s life – including a black stripe down the side of his face to signify mourning.
He also has his daughter’s name etched into his face and a portrait of her on his back.
Skat’s other touching tributes include snowflakes, which he got cut into his skin using a body modification process called “scarification”.
And the roses that cover his body also remind him of Winter.
Speaking about his journey, Skat said: "I lost my daughter 'Winter-Rose' in 2017. She had something called sickle cell disease.
"We had her for fourteen months and then she had her first episode and it took her life.
"I was there when she went and it's something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
"I went through a very dark period, I ended up being seen by the mental health team because I couldn't cope and wanted to take my own life to be with her again.
"I was put on antipsychotics to help me, and they worked and I'm still on them to this day.”
What is sickle cell disease?
Sickle cell disease is the name for a group of inherited health conditions that affect the red blood cells.
The most serious type is called sickle cell anaemia.
People with sickle cell disease produce unusually shaped red blood cells that can cause problems because they do not live as long as healthy blood cells and can block blood vessels.
Sickle cell disease is a serious and lifelong health condition, although treatment can help manage many of the symptoms.
He continued: "I won't ever really get over losing her but life does get easier.
"I started using tattoos as therapy. All my tattoos I got for a year after her death were in her memory including a black stripe all the way down my face to signify mourning, her name tattooed big down the side of my face and a rose tattooed the other side of my face.
"I went on holiday alone to Dublin for some time on my own and got her portrait tattooed on my back.
"I had snowflakes cut into my arm all the way up my blacked-out sleeve.
"It makes me feel better, it makes me feel close to her, and it will never let me forget.”
Skat got his first tattoo at 15 and has since been inked dozens more times – including tattooing his eyeballs.
He estimates he’s spent £15,000 on body art, which isn’t always received well by strangers in the street.
He said: "When I'm in public, some people avoid me or cross the road if they see me coming.
"Some people are just rude and tell me how stupid they think I am and I look awful.
"But others cross the road just to ask me questions as they find me fascinating and some people even ask for pictures with me.
"You never know what you're going to get, to be honest.
"My parents would prefer I never had any tattoos done, but they know it's my choice and don't make me feel bad about my decisions with my own body."
The dad has since had a son, three-year-old Vincent-Snow, named after his big sister.
He added: "My ex became pregnant again after Winter had passed.
"We agreed on an abortion as I really wasn't coping.
"My partner was in Essex about to get a termination done and I was in a session with a counsellor who made me realise that having another child would only help me move on.
"I left my session and got on the phone. I got to her just in time; five minutes later it would have been a different story.
"He's turned my life around and is my best mate ever. He's my miracle baby."
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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