Woman heartbroken after tattoo tribute to late father goes wrong

A WOMAN has been left heartbroken after a tattoo that was to be in loving tribute to her late father went horribly wrong.

Tanya Bridges had visited her local tattoo parlour earlier this year after the tragic passing of her father due to a heart attack in the early hours of Christmas Eve.

Tanya Bridges.
Tanya was left heartbroken after the mishap. (C) Facebook

The 44 year-old mum had decided to commemorate the life of her father John with an inking from local tattoo parlour Trashcan Tattoos – but claims she received no aftercare advice or covering from her artist.

Tanya from Pembrokeshire, Wales claims her new tattoo began oozing puss, leaving her arm in agony, her tattoo ruined and her artist allegedly ignoring her three months after healing.

Despite the tattoo initially appearing to have turned out well, Tanya soon began to question the artist’s methods, who she claims did not provide any aftercare or a covering for the new ink.

After two days, the mum’s tattoo began to form oozing puss and her arm began to severely ache.

Tanya claims that the artist continued to ignore her messages of concern and at one point, even requested that she not attend a doctor’s appointment to get it checked.

However, Tanya soon looked to other tattoo artists for advice who were allegedly shocked at the dodgy job and instructed her to consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Whilst Tanya was provided antibiotics to reduce the inflammation, her ink has been ruined and her tribute to her father tainted.

Tanya now believes that the tattoo artist – who has allegedly still not read her messages or offered a refund – did a dodgy job.

Images show Tanya’s original idea – which was meant to depict a silhouette of her and her dad – alongside what she actually received.

The tattoo Tanya wanted.
Pictured: The tattoo that Tanya wanted. (C) Tanya Bridges

The text above the original reads “Papa” as a heart encircles the end of the word.

The alleged result of Tanya’s visit to Trashcan Tattoos show two misshapen silhouettes that appear grey and faded – with red spots visible where the ink looks to have harmed Tanya’s arm.

The text instead reads “Dad”, whilst the heart encircling the word also appears to be misshapen, appearing more akin to a question mark than half of a heart.

A further image shows a peeling tattoo with thick layered ink appearing almost burnt into the skin.

Tanya took to social media on Saturday to share the images, writing: “What I asked for versus what I’ve now been left with after three months of healing.

“I am beyond heartbroken by this as I have never had a tattoo and finally got one done back in March after my dad passed away on Christmas Eve.

“This was supposed to be such a special and beautiful tribute.

“I contacted the tattoo artist all the way through my healing as things kept happening that just weren’t right and he never offered a refund or help.

“I do have someone that has said they are able to fix it, just waiting for it to fully heal before getting it fixed as it became so infected that my arm was in agony and it’s kind of put me off of having it covered up to now but I will get it done.”

The post received over 100 likes and dozens of comments from users quick to share their devastation on Tanya’s behalf.

Tanya's tattoo.
What Tanya got tattooed. (C) Tanya Bridges

One person wrote: “I’m sorry this happened to you. I would be put off too if that happened.”

Another said: “It looks more like a question mark on what you got than a heart. Oh, man.”

A third commented: “I would be absolutely devastated if something so important turned out like that.

“I am so sorry you had to go through it. Hopefully you can cover it up and then get a better memorial piece for your dad somewhere else.

“Sending love and light on the loss of your dad.”

A fourth added: “Aw, this can be fixed. The sentiment is still wonderful and I’m sorry for your loss and the unhappy tattoo.”

Speaking to Tanya today, she said: “My dad was my hero. I was his little girl and I looked up to him fiercely.

“We were so unbelievably close, he really was my hero. He also became like a father figure to my three children because I was a young single mum to two girls and a boy.

“He was the kind of dad/grandad that every child would be proud to have.

“He was a fit and healthy man, he worked as an HGV driver, but at the end of November he caught the dreaded winter bug and was off work for 10 days.

“He recovered from that and went back to work and then had his flu and Covid jab mid December – seven days later, he was rushed into hospital with breathing difficulties and they diagnosed him with pneumonia.

“They also picked up a problem with his heart so did a scan and found that he had a problem with one of his arteries in his heart, so we were going to transfer him to the bigger hospital in Swansea once he was stable and perform surgery.

“They said he was a poorly man but they could fix everything and send him home to recover quietly.

“10 minutes past midnight on Christmas Eve, we had a phone call that we needed to get to the hospital as he had taken a turn for the worse.

“By the time we got there, he had gone and was pronounced dead at 12.50am on Christmas Eve after his blood pressure bottomed out and he suffered a massive heart attack.

“He was 66 years old and in amazing health just a few weeks before, it was the biggest shock of our lives.”

Tanya continued, explaining the nightmare she was left with after inking herself in tribute: “I wanted to do something just for myself to honour his memory.

“I found a tattoo that I loved and a tattoo artist whose previous work I had seen, and booked an appointment for myself and my daughter to go and have a tribute tattoo done in [March].

“It was my first tattoo so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but the artist did the tattoo and then I paid and left.

“No cover on the tattoo and no aftercare advice and I had absolutely no idea how it was supposed to be when healing, so I took pictures and messaged the artist two days later when the tattoo had become so wet that the top layer had actually come off during the night.

“It was oozing puss and it was absolute agony just moving and turning my arm.

“The tattoo artist pretty much ignored my messages and said I didn’t need to see a doctor etc. but I took advice from other tattoo artists and went to the doctors and was prescribed antibiotics.

“It’s only just healed now after three and a half months and is still sore to touch, so not healed enough for a cover up, but once it has I shall see someone else.”

A spokesperson for Trashcan Tattoos today said: “I am aware of this woman’s complaint through a contact she made to my Facebook page when the tattoo was four days old.

“She said in the message that her t-shirt had stuck to it when she has been advised to keep the fresh tattoo away from clothing.

“She was then correctly advised to keep clothes away from the tattoo and not to put cream on it.

“The tattoo was fine when she left the studio as per picture below and we cannot be held responsible for a clients personal hygiene when they’ve left the studio – two members of her family were tattooed the same day with no issues.

“My wife deals with admin and it was only a day later we replied.

“However by this time she had started a smear campaign on Facebook, making accusations about my studio and comments of threats of violence were made by her friend on her post, which I absolutely will not tolerate – it was only at this point I blocked her communication.

“I have been a tattoo artist for 25 years and I am a skilled and experienced professional. This was the woman’s first tattoo and she was very happy with it when she left the studio.

“However, within days she was questioning and contradicting my advice, refused my invitation to return to the studio, did not allow any healing time before starting this campaign against me, and really needed to take personal responsibility for her own care of her tattoo once she had left the studio.”

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