Pioneering operation means a young boy who was unable to move his face can now smile
Joe Henson, 5, looks like any other happy little boy ready for Christmas. But up until now, he hasn’t been able to smile at all. Joe, who suffers with Moeibus syndrome, was unable to move any of the muscles in his face. After a 12-hour operation, which only 50 people in the whole world have ever had, Joe has finally been able to move the muscles in his face. The operation, carried out by plastic surgeon Adriaan Grobbelaar, involved attaching muscles from under his arms to his face. By joining blood vessels together, a good blood supply is achieved, which Adriaan explains is crucial in making the operation a success. The plastic surgeon is the world’s first to have operated on both sides of the face during one continuous operation. Joe’s mother, Sam, told the Evening Standard that Joe’s speech has become clearer, he can blow bubbles and open his mouth wider when cleaning his teeth. Sam says it’s the “little changes that are going to make a big difference in the long run.” As the muscles get stronger, Joe will be able to learn to use them and hopefully spread that grin even wider.
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk