Yes this blog is Narissa's. She wanted it for her birthday so she could help raise money for others to smile. Today I want to tell you a little more about Narissa's surgery. Maybe she can help someone else with facial paralysis think more about options.
Narissa came to us at the age of 3 with right side facial paralysis. In Jan 2011, she had a nerve graft transplant where a nerve was taken from her lower leg and attached to a nerve in her non paralyzed side of the face. It was brought over under her nose to the right side. In Aug of 2011 when we knew the nerve had survived the transplant, she was scheduled for the 2nd stage of the surgery. In this stage, a muscle would be taken from her thigh and transplanted into the paralyzed side with the nerve being attached the objective being that when her left side smiled, the nerve would also make her right side smile.
Well, just days before the scheduled surgery, a MRI was done that showed there had been a much larger surgery done on her in China than we knew. The stage 2 had to be cancelled as she had no blood supply on the right side of the face. I was devastated. I felt that I had let her down. Dr. Hadlock on the other hand would not leave this alone. She contacted surgeons around the world to ask for other opions. She brought me in and explained in detail for over an hour what she thought.
Craig and I prayed for many hours and felt that we should still try the stage 2. Good thing Craig was thinking. He made me realize that had we known of the added problem we still would have gone through with trying. We were just blessed that Dr. Hadlock found the problem before being in the O.R.
In Jan 2012, Narissa underwent stage 2. Along with Dr. Hadlock and her team, was a vascular surgeon. Two arteries were transplanted before Dr. Hadlock could even start her proceedure. Narissa was in surgery somewhere in the 10 hour range. She said it felt like she fell asleep and then a minute later woke up. Ask Craig if I made it feel that way!
Dr. Hadlock explained because of the added problems, the risk was higher for rejection. The chances of success have been lessened, but she still felt it was worth a try. She also explained that it could take a year to see any movement.
WELL 3 months and a week later, yesterday during follow up, We saw movement! It is VERY VERY slight, but VERY VERY exciting! It tells us that the nerve, arteries, and muscle all survived transplant!
I am not sure who was the most excited, me or Dr. Hadlock, but I can tell you that I am beyond happy.
I called Craig right away to share the excitement. THEN I got on the train and became overwhelmed. It was everything in my power to hold back the tears.
For all the first I missed out on with Narissa, her first tooth, or step, or word this is a far greater reward. A tiny little movement. I can't explain my happiness right now, but I can say I am thankful.
I am thankful to a Father in Heaven who hears my prayers and answers them. He blessed us first to let us be Narissa's family. He blesses us with the healing power of the priesthood. He blessed us to live right here so close to Dr. Hadlock, one of only a few surgeons in the world that specialize in facial paralysis. He has blessed us with the ability to see His love. I could go on and on.
So for anyone reading that has facial paralysis, there is hope. Sorry this was so long, but I hope it will help someone along the way. Please stay with us as Narissa gets her next fundraising hope in action. Thanks for reading Ruthie