As many of you know, Laila was born with partial facial paralysis. It affects the right side of her face, but not entirely. The fact that the paralysis does not affect the entire right side is what makes it rare. The parts affected are her right eyebrow (she cannot raise it), right eyelid (she cannot blink it), right nostril (it does not flare), and the right side of her upper lip are affected (doesn't move).
When Laila was born, we thought it was the left eye that was "lazy". It wasn't until she was about 2 weeks old that I realized the right eye was not blinking.
A couple weeks later, she had an appointment with her pediatrician. After examination, the pediatrician says, "I've never seen this before." She also noticed her eyes were crossing in a lot.
She referred us to an opthalmologist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. From there, for the paralysis only, we were referred to an otolaryngologist at Our Lady of the Lake. This doctor also had "never seen this before". He ordered an MRI of the brain with contrast.
We had the MRI done in January of 2016 (Laila was 4 months old), at Lafayette General Medical Center.
Results of the MRI: normal. Everything NORMAL! I was so grateful that nothing was found, but at the same time, we still had no answers.
I was then told that we may never know what caused it, which never sat well with me.
Laila is currently taking speech therapy once a week. Once her vocabulary widens, the therapist will be able to determine if the paralysis is affecting her pronunciation.
My biggest concern, though, is her eye.
The older Laila gets, the better chance she has of the cornea of her right eye breaking down from lack of blinking.
To this day, we do not have a diagnosis for our baby girl, but that may all change in the very near future.
I recently came across the Children's Hospital of St. Louis. The hospital has a facial nerve paralysis institute. I contacted the hospital a few weeks ago. The lady I spoke with asked me to send out medical authorizations to all doctors who have seen Laila pertaining to the paralysis, that way they could receive her records and have the doctor look over everything to make sure she could be of service to us.
Today, July 27, 2017, I got a phone call from the lady I had spoken to saying that they started receiving Laila's records, and the doctor wants to see Laila!
Unfortunately, because of the distance, the costs of round-trip airfare and hotel stays are estimating a little over $2,100.00.
If it wasn't for my child's medical needs, I wouldn't be doing this, but I am letting go of my pride and asking for any help you can give. You have the chance to possibly change Laila's future.
We are forever grateful to all of you for your support, love and prayers! Thank you!
With much love,
Blake, Korie, Liam and Laila
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