February 2, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Medical scoop: 10 hours after surgery, Nicole, 11, 'extremely happy with her smile'

Medical scoop: 10 hours after surgery, Nicole, 11, ‘extremely happy with her smile’

Archive the photo. © Hollandse Hoogte / Joyce van Belkom

For the first time in her young life, an 11-year-old girl from Virginia could smile with the right side of her face.

wafersource: USA Today

Nicole Serna Gonzalez’s parents were informed after her birth that she was paralyzed on one side of her face. The condition made it impossible for her to move the right side of her face or close her eye.

“At first we hoped it would just disappear,” her mother, Carolina Gonzalez, told the Associated Press. USA Today. “We didn’t mind too much because she could eat and swallow and her speech wasn’t affected.” However, some people made her feel uncomfortable by asking questions about her smile.

After a long search for treatment, Nicole underwent surgery in June 2021, which lasted no less than ten hours. The girl is the first patient to have such an operation, which means she is increasingly able to smile with the right side of her face. “It will take a few years for the nerves in her face to recover, but Nicole has already clearly noticed the difference, she is so happy,” says her mother.

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