The joy spread by the airbrushed tattoos of internet phenomenon Benjamin Lloyd has cheered up a 15-year-old Tauranga boy with a rare genetic disorder.

Brodie Hunter was in Tauranga Hospital undergoing tests for a bowel and intestine transplant when the artist showed up with his airbrush and indian ink.

A few minutes of freestyle painting later and the college student's arm was the envy of people throughout the world who have heaped praise on the struggling Tauranga artist.

Read more: The child's tattoo that's not what you think


Mr Lloyd was catapulted to fame earlier this week when he posted photos on his Facebook page of wash-off tattoos on the body of Jin, the five-year-old son of Tauranga lawyer Simon Whitehead. "I woke up to six million hits."

Brodie's father Wayne had no hesitation about allowing his son to be tattooed. "Brodie was really stoked."

News that the tattooing sensation planned to take his airbrush to Auckland's Starship Children's Hospital was spotted by Brodie who hoped it would coincide with his arrival at Starship for more tests next month.

The uncertainty was removed when, to his delight, Mr Lloyd showed at Brodie's beside in Tauranga Hospital on Thursday.

"It happened down here - that was awesome," Mr Hunter told Bay of Plenty Times Weekend.

Brodie was so proud of his tattoo that he made a special trip to Bethlehem College yesterday morning to show off his arm to classmates before returning to his hospital bed for more tests.

Tattoo artist Benjamin Lloyd from Tauranga posted this image to facebook of Jin, son of a Tauranga lawyer, with an airbrushed fake tattoo design.
Tattoo artist Benjamin Lloyd from Tauranga posted this image to facebook of Jin, son of a Tauranga lawyer, with an airbrushed fake tattoo design.

He has a rare genetic disorder that causes excess substances to build up in certain cells in the body, causing seizures and life-threatening problems affecting the organs, bones and heart.

Mr Hunter said Brodie's preparations for the operation would culminate in the first week of July when he went to Melbourne for a final round of tests at the hospital where the transplant was planned to be happen. Bowel and intestine transplants could not be performed in New Zealand.

He was pretty confident that the transplant would go ahead, it was just a matter of waiting for a donor.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Auckland District Health Board said they had not received a formal approach from Mr Lloyd to airbrush patients at Starship. However, they had received a lot of calls from people curious to know what was going on.

He said it needed to go through a proper process to make sure it was legally and clinically appropriate.

Mr Lloyd said yesterday that he did not get written approval to visit Tauranga Hospital but got permission from parents. He used non-toxic ink.

As for his Auckland trip, he was now tossing up whether, in the first instance, to do the tattooing in Ronald McDonald House where families stayed while their children were in Starship.

He had not made an official approach to Starship but had talked to people high up in the organisation and told them that he did not want the visit to become a media circus.