Facial Paralysis:
Bringing back the smile

1:47 AM

In 2005, the workplace was filled with panic. People were surrounding a co-worker while watching him suffer from a strange illness. *Joey's left cheek literally froze which made him appear to have suffered a stroke. He was only 23.

He didn't go to work the next day. We just received news from his parents that he suffered from facial paralysis or Bell's palsy. Bell's palsy is a sudden facial paralysis which, according to statistics, is more common to people aged 25-35.

He resigned from work immediately and wrote us from the US and said he was being treated for his illness. Sadly, he was not immediately referred to any of the local doctors who could help him. He went to the U.S. to receive treatment after watching another victim of facial paralysis on TV.

(Photo courtesy of Oprah.com)

If you can recall, Mary Jo Buttafuoco appeared on both the Entertainment Tonight and The Oprah Winfrey Show after she unveiled the results of a facial reconstruction procedure. Mary Jo was shot by Amy Fisher, a woman who was having an affair with her husband. She was shot on the face which caused ear damage and facial paralysis. She was then treated by Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, a reconstructive surgeon and Director of the Facial Paralysis Institute.

According to Oprah.com, Mary Jo received three treatments. First was asymmetric facelift which brought back the smile on her face. Then, they widened her ear canal which helped improve her hearing. Finally, she was assisted by a physical therapist in order to strengthen her facial muscles.

(Photo courtesy of Oprah.com)

Luckily, the procedure was successful. I couldn't help but wonder if Joey's was also a success.

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