Facial Palsy Awareness Week

As part of Facial Palsy awareness week NF2er, Joanne Ward, has kindlyJoanne Ward agreed for us to share this picture along with her experience of acquiring facial palsy.

“My facial palsy was due to AN surgery when I was diagnosed with NF2 in 1999, I was naive then and didn’t really realise what that meant when they [the doctors] said I could have facial paralysis, I could still “feel” my face so that was ok – wasn’t it? Its only when you do the “mirror moment” you realise what they actually mean.

It takes a lot of strength and time to come to terms with the fact that you have a physical disfigurement, people stare, kids are curious as to why you look different, but I strongly believe that acceptance of it was a key part and that really I was still me inside!

I chose to have facial rehabilitation surgery in 2012, surgery isn’t for everyone and I appreciate that, but it was the right option for me, it gave me back my smile and it gave me back a part of ME that got lost when I was diagnosed and had my first surgery. I wanted to smile on the outside as well as the inside and its allowed that to happen, I’m a different person now and am more sociable and confident, its made me the person I am today and I no longer feel the need to shy away from the photo call!” (Joanne)

Facial Palsy UK is the first charity to offer specific support to people affected by facial palsy due to any cause.