10 Year Old Girl Smiles For The First Time

A typical child smiles on average 400 times per day! It's one of the things parents work hard to see when they're babies.

Nicole Serena-Gonzalez was born with unilateral congenital facial paralysis, limiting her ability to move the right side of her face. There have been hundreds of people born with this condition and it has been impossible for them to smile.

A team at the Cleveland Clinic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, headed by Dr. Patrick Byrne, a specialist in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, has developed a new surgical technique to help restore a full range of facial expressions in people with facial paralysis. Using a nerve from your lower leg to connect the functioning facial side to the paralyzed side and transplanted muscles from your thigh. Nicole is one of the first people in history to have this procedure and just smiled her first smile!

In the coming years, her facial control and the naturalness of her facial movements are expected to improve even more. This groundbreaking surgery technique is expected to improve life for Nicole and other kids who also suffer from facial paralysis.

Her mother Carolina says; "This procedure is a blessing for our entire family! Our beautiful Nicole can display the smile that we knew was in her and the entire world can see it"!

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