The Rare Medical Condition Perrie Edwards Was Born With

Perrie Edwards seems to have at all. She's had a successful music career with the British girl group Little Mix, topping the U.K. charts and racking up 65 million album sales with some help from bandmates Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson. Even after losing Nelson from the lineup, Little Mix still made history in 2021, becoming the only girl group who can brag about bagging a Brit Award in the British Group category.

Life got even better for Edwards when she welcomed a baby boy named Axel in August 2021 and got engaged to British footballer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in June 2022, but before she got her happily ever after, she had to endure a brutal public breakup from former One Direction member Zayn Malik, who Edwards says dumped her via text. "It was horrible, the worst time in my life," she wrote in Little Mix's book "One World" (via People).

Edwards' hardships since finding fame also included suffering from anxiety so crippling that she feared she would become a recluse before she sought therapy. "When I first had a panic attack, I was ringing doctors saying, 'I'm dying, I've just had a heart attack!'" she recalled to Glamour. Thanks to a condition the singer has had since birth, she's no stranger to dealing with doctors, but Edwards has the scar to prove that she's resilient and she's used it to inspire and uplift others.

Perrie Edwards learned to embrace her surgery scar

Perrie Edwards experienced a scary health setback straight out of the womb. She was born with a birth defect called esophageal atresia, which is caused by the esophagus failing to form correctly, according to the CDC. As reported by Metro, Edwards had to undergo multiple surgical procedures to repair her esophagus. In a series of posts on her Instagram Story, she thanked the NHS, the U.K.'s public healthcare system, for performing the surgeries, and she shared photos taken during her stay at the hospital.

One image showed Edwards as a child looking down at a scar on her stomach. In a 2012 interview with Heat (via HuffPost), the "Black Magic" singer revealed that the scar was what she disliked most about her body. "I had to have lots of operations, so that's why I don't want to show it," she said. However, she eventually embraced the mark, which started making appearances on her Instagram page. In one photo, she was pictured showing off her bare torso while channeling her inner sea siren. "Mermaids have freckles and scars too ... embrace them. I think they're beaut!" she wrote.

Edwards has also shared her thoughts about learning to love her freckles. On the talk show "Lorraine," she revealed that she was teased about them as a child but later came to a confidence-boosting realization. "You should embrace your insecurities because that's what makes you different and unique," she said. 

Perrie Edwards was born with another condition that caused her bandmates some distress

Perrie Edwards had to have more operations when she got older, including another esophagus surgery in 2018. Afterwards, she posted proof that she was quickly on the mend: an Instagram photo snapped after she'd polished off a chocolate dessert. She also had to have her tonsils removed in 2012. Edwards told Apple Music 1 (via the Mirror) that the massively swollen lumps of tissue actually affected the way her voice sounded on Little Mix's debut album. "I was like Kermit the Frog," she joked. However, it was her sense of smell, not her singing, that had her bandmates suffering.

In a 2013 BBC News interview, Edwards revealed that she was born with the inability to smell, a condition known as congenital anosmia. "I have never smelt anything, but I think I smelt coffee once," she said. According to her former bandmate Jesy Nelson, this meant that everyone else's nasal passages got pummeled whenever an oblivious Edwards passed gas. "The worst bit is when Perrie does it and doesn't know how bad it is," Nelson said on "This Morning" in 2016.

Luckily, Edwards' bandmates made sure that she was favorably fragrant when she wasn't flatulent. "Leigh Anne picks my perfume," Edwards told Marie Claire in 2019. "Jesy's picked it a few times as well." And now we're left wondering who's in charge of choosing her eau de parfum now that Little Mix has split up.