I was a very happy child, excelling in school and sports. In December 2013, when I was 13 years old, I had a boating accident resulting in a serious traumatic brain injury. When I came out of the coma, I could not speak, read or write anymore. My left facial nerve was severed and my left ear deaf.
I desperately wanted my life back, so I focused and relearned language again. It was hard and required a lot of perseverance. I missed 10 months of school and had to catch that up as well. Despite some balance problems and tinnitus I went back to gymnastics and received my Western Province colors again.
My facial nerve has grown together but is weak and I suffer from synkinesis. I have done facial retraining and reached a point were no more improvement is expected by exercises.
The only improvement for my smile is now reconstructive surgery. Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, a specialist in California, pioneered selective neurolysis. He would like to do a selective neurolysis and cross facial nerve graft which would improve my smile by 90%.
The operation will be US 50.000,- and total costs are about US 70.000,-. We hopefully are going to manage. Please help me and others to smile again. The smile is a sacred gift which everybody should be able to enjoy.