*This story was first published in March 2017. It was one of our most popular stories for the year.*
The mother of a Christchurch teenager whose bad buck teeth saw him bullied as a child has praised Kiwis' generosity shows how "wonderful" New Zealand is.
Evan Hill's buck teeth were so severe he couldn't close his mouth, but five years after his plight was made public, he's finally got the perfect smile he's been dreaming of.
Since then, Evan has made monthly visits to the orthodontist and today he finally got those life-changing braces off.
Orthodontist Ronald Sluiter carried out the work. He's shifted Evan's teeth 15 millimetres, transforming him from a boy who was bullied and called "rabbit kid" to a young man with a confident smile.
"We've come a long way haven't we," he said to Evan during the procedure.
"It's about time."
Evan's mother, Barbara Erickson, says she is forever grateful to New Zealanders for making it possible.
"I don't know where we would have been today without the generosity we had," she told Newshub.
"We looked at probably mortgaging our house to pay for them but this came up and blew me away."
She told Newshub on Wednesday she was happy with Evan's teeth and was "quite excited to see [Evan] smile with no braces on".
The leftover donations formed part of a trust allocated to other children needing dental work their families can't afford.
Ms Erickson said she was glad the extra money also helped others in need.