Braidon Fugal is just 12 years old, but next month the Utah student plans to get cosmetic surgery. Born prematurely with undeveloped lungs, Braidon spent his first weeks of life connected to tubes. They kept him from lying down on both sides, causing his left ear to stick out.

“Doctors told me to put a headband on him, but that didn’t work,” says his mother, Melissa Gerard. She couldn’t keep the band secure, so Braidon’s ear continued to protrude. He’s been teased about it since he started school, but with age, his peers have gotten worse, according to Gerard.