Bethan Robertson-Smith lost control of her car when she hit a pool of water on the road in 2008, resulting in a traffic collision and leaving her in a coma for 13 days. Afterward, she spent three months in the hospital with no feeling or muscular control of her face. Doctors told her she would recover – but she never did.
Three years later, Robertson-Smith was still unable to smile, laugh or even cry, though she had relearned to talk and eat. However, this all changes with a plastic surgery procedure that reconnected jaw muscles in her face – giving her the ability to smile once more.
“I was always told I was lucky to be alive, letting alone walking and talking,” Robertson-Smith recently told The Daily Mail. “But I didn’t feel lucky. It wasn’t very nice to be a 22 or 23-year-old girl walking out into the world like that everyday. It wasn’t just not being able to smile – it was all the other emotions too. I couldn’t even look angry. I couldn’t cry.”
Since the initial surgery in 2011, Robertson-Smith has had several smaller surgeries to enhance control over her mouth, eyes and other facial features. Though she still suffers from migraines, depression and other issues related to her injuries, the ability to laugh and cry again has changed her life. In 2012, she decided to work toward helping others afflicted with her condition, known as bilateral facial palsy, by launching a charity in the UK.
The inability to properly convey emotion through facial expressions has beeen stigmatizing for many people, not all of whom need reconstructive surgery. For many, a facelift or Botox injection can help restore their natural appearance and proper emotional response rather than looking sad or angry all of the time. These treatments help to restore natural volume and muscle function – the perfect solution for those in need. If you are interested in similar procedures, contact Maryland Plastic Surgery for more information on the facial plastic surgery options available to you.