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Women's Face is Frozen on Airplane by Rare Condition

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The other day I wrote about how a migraine headache left Rangers announcer Dave Barnett incoherent to game attendees listening to his play-by-play of the game. During the game, Barnett began to speak gibberish and people at the game were worried that he had suffered a stroke. After some tests, doctors discovered that Barnett suffers from complex migraines, which are more serious than regular migraines.

Another recent story sparked my interest because of its similarity in to Barnett's story. South Carolina TV reporter Mary King was traveling on an airplane at the beginning of this month. However, while waiting for the plane to take off King tried to rub her lips together and realized that she couldn't. Then she tried to blink her right eye and she couldn't. King called for the flight attendant and a doctor on board said that she had better get to the emergency room. The pilot turned the plane around and King's father rushed her to the hospital.

While King's symptoms also seem to suggest a stroke, just like Barnett's did, this didn't turn out to be the case. Instead, it turned out that King suffers from Bell's palsy. Bell's palsy isn't life threatening, but it does take sufferers weeks or even months to recover from an attack, which is a temporary paralysis of the face. Doctors believe that Bell's palsy is caused by a virus such as Epstein Barr or Varciella Zoster which results in the inflammation of the seventh cranial nerve that controls the face. Although Bell's palsy isn't life threatening, it often causes depression in those afflicted with the condition. King experienced this when she realized that she couldn't report on air while her face paralysis healed and that she couldn't smile when she tried on wedding dresses with her mother for her upcoming wedding. Finally, King's face has healed almost 97% three weeks after the attack. She has also received an outpouring of support from viewers of the local news in South Carolina.