Content warning: This article mentions suicide and depression.
While many people use TikTok for tips for a new recipe or a deep dive into a popular TV show, the app has introduced the world to many talented people they wouldn’t have heard of otherwise. In January 2021, one user, Al Wright, known by his username, @the_hurton_alberton, gained a major following after his first video.
Al created his first TikTok to joke about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. The Texas native stated in his video that he took the vaccine and felt fine afterward. The “joke” piece of the video was to show Al’s face.
Since Al’s debut, he has received multiple comments from users inquiring about what happened to his face. The influencer has been incredibly transparent about his situation and has maintained that he shares his journey to help those struggling as he did.
What happened to Al Wright?
In March 2021, Al published a TikTok and opened up about what happened to his face. He explained the changes to his face came when he attempted to die by suicide years ago. Al has since shared that he shot himself in the face, which left him unable to eat or feel parts of his face. He also no longer has a nose and lost his sense of smell after the incident.
In the initial video, Al shared the “underlying reasons” behind his suicide attempt. He said the reasons came from a “woman” and a “procedure that happened prior to.” Al also warned his followers he wouldn’t discuss either issue further. Still, he received plenty of support from commenters who were grateful Al was brave enough to share his story with the world.
“I'm sorry you endured the emotional and physical pain. I’m glad you're with us,” one user wrote.
“There’s a reason you are still here,” another reminded him. “Keep being strong.”
“I know sorry won't change anything, but for what it's worth, I'm sorry that you experienced things that made you feel you were not worthy of life,” a third commenter noted.
Al Wright said in a TikTok that he isn’t looking for “sympathy” when discussing his incident.
Since his initial explanation of what happened to his face, Al has continued answering any questions that his followers might have. Unfortunately, all of his feedback hasn’t always been positive.
“Yes, I tried to commit suicide,” Al bravely said while rocking hot pink hair. “I don’t hide that fact. I’m not on here for sympathy whatsoever.”
“I try to help people with mental health, I try to show awareness of what can happen, I should help as many people as I can. I’m a very positive person.”
Al then apologized to the user if his videos weren’t for them, followed by him further reiterating he doesn’t use his channel for sympathy. He added that, within the first year of growing his TikTok, 13 people told him he “saved them from taking their own life” and informed the naysayers he was going to “keep going.”