In the Autumn of 2009, I was in Boston USA gaining super-specialist training in the treatment of facial paralysis, facial reanimation and facial cosmetic surgery, before returning to the UK to apply for a consultant facial plastic surgeon position.
On October 1st, whilst on skype to my 3 yr old son Seb, I had a stroke. I had a facial palsy and slurred speech. As an inpatient on the Stroke Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital I decided that once I had recovered I would test my body to its limits.
I had the cause (a congenital hole in the heart) repaired and regained full function of my speech. After a period of rehabilitation (during which I published 2 book chapters and wrote seven articles!) I am now fitter than ever and compete in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, keep up with 2 sons and 2 Rhodesian Ridgebacks!
Facial palsy (paralysis of one side of the face) can result from infection, trauma, ear disease, cancer and neurological disease. When no cause is found it is called Bell's Palsy. Most cases of facial palsy improve if treated promptly but in those that don't, persisting facial paralysis can cause devastating functional, aesthetic and psycho-social concerns.
Through partnership with the registered charity Facial Palsy UK, on which I sit on the medical advisory board, I raise funds to provide holistic, cosmetic and practical support to patients with facial paralysis.
A link to enable donations will appear shortly but in the meantime I can be contacted via the contact page on this website.
Management of facial paralysis
BBC Breakfast 1st March 2015. Raising awareness week for Facial Palsy.
Please excuse the ridiculous half beard and dishevelled look - both were for sponsorship for Facial Palsy UK!
There are 2 seperate interviews in this clip.