Newsletter from the team
Kana Miyagi, SpR in Plastic Surgery
We were delighted to host our first Facial Palsy Support Group on Saturday 20th May at Broomfield Hospital. We would like to thank everyone who attended, many of whom travelled across the country. Patients and staff had the opportunity to talk informally over drinks and canapés, and this led to a number of helpful discussions and reflections on both sides. We then had a series of talks from both Kallirroi Tzafetta, on the causes of facial palsy and its treatment, as well as several patients regarding their experiences with this condition.
The main focus of the day was to bring patients together to create a network of support. It provided an opportunity for the consultants and whole multidisciplinary team to share additional clinical information, patients to discuss their experiences, and newly diagnosed patients to meet those who have had treatment and hear and see what this has been like. We would like to reiterate our thanks to everyone who shared their story and by doing so helped other patients at all stages of their clinical journeys. We are thrilled that the day was so well received and plan to hold further meetings twice each year to provide updates and strengthen our community.
Feedback from patients about the day:
“Thank you for the Facial palsy Support Group meeting. The people there were so brave and inspirational. I feel the meeting was beneficial to all of us. It reduces feelings of isolation with having a facial palsy.” (T.D.)
“Firstly thank you for the invite to the first support group. The others who attended were a fantastic bunch of people all with their own stories of how they got facial palsy. Everyone was very friendly and gave support to others. Ms Tzafetta and her team of surgeons, nurses, and the administrative staff of Broomfield’s are at the top of their profession. I was invited because I got facial palsy back in 2008 after having a 17-hour operation to debulk an acoustic neuroma. Unfortunately the operation left me stone deaf on the right side, and I also contracted meningitis and facial palsy that didn't rectify after 18 months. I got referred to Broomfield from Queen’s Hospital in 2010. The transformation is nothing but a miracle. I have had a cross nerve transfer, gracilis muscle transfer, temporalis muscle transfer, a lot of debulking of gracilis muscle, and a lot of surgical procedures on my eye and can now close it properly. Today was an eye opener. You think you are the only one with facial palsy and everyone stares at you: this is WRONG - they don't. Today I met some lovely people, and to anybody who isn't sure about going to a support group I have one word: GO!” (S.H.)
So, once again, a big thank you to everyone who participated!