Recovering from a Facial Nerve Palsy

After heavy rains last year, a wall of a local primary school building fell on top of children who were in the classroom. The most severely injured patient was a young girl who sustained a closed head injury with a basilar skull fracture. She was treated with medicine to reduce the swelling of the brain and steadily showed improvement. She also developed meningitis during her hospital stay.

As she continued to improve over the following days, it became apparent that her facial nerve (which controls the muscles of the face) had been damaged in the accident. After a couple months, she complained about the inability to close her right eye when she sleeps and therefore the eye was watering. She is the granddaughter of one of out friends in town, so I was able to regularly provide saline drops for her eyes until they improved.

The facial nerve palsy is still recovering, but I see improvements every time I run into her in town. Each time I see her or talk to her grandmother, I am just thankful that she is alive and thriving.