Mum tells of battle to get back to health

Amanda Duncan, who suffered facial palsy after giving birth to her second daughter. She is taking on a rowing challenge in Blackpool to raise money  for Facial Palsy UK.

Amanda Duncan, who suffered facial palsy after giving birth to her second daughter. She is taking on a rowing challenge in Blackpool to raise money for Facial Palsy UK.

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A mum-of-two is preparing to take on a six-hour rowing challenge to raise awareness of facial palsy.

Amanda Duncan, 28, was left unable to move the right side of her face following the birth of her second daughter.

She noticed she was having tingling sensations in her face, and could not taste anything on one side of her tongue shortly after her daughter, Liliana, was born in May last year.

She was later diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy – the same condition which affected X Factor winner Sam Bailey.

Amanda, who also has a two-year-old daughter Alexia, will take to the rowing machine at Palatine Leisure Centre from 9am on Saturday to mark Facial Palsy Awareness Week, and raise money for Facial Palsy UK.

The 28-year-old, who lived in North Shore before recently moving to Edinburgh with her husband Graeme, who is in the Navy, said: “It’s been a terrifying time for all of us.

“Its been eight months and I still can’t blink or smile properly, and all my muscles are slowly tightening up, which is making it harder to get my face working properly again.

“I’m hoping that one day I will be able to fix my face somehow. But my main goal is to make people aware of this.

“Bell’s Palsy is just one of around 30 types of paralysis that can happen to the face. Even though mine was developed after pregnancy, men can contract it too, and at any age. Too much stress can be one of the causes, but no one is 100 per cent certain.”

Her mother, Brenda Crossley, 55, of Egerton Road, North Shore, said: “It must have been quite frightening for her.

“It is not unusual following childbirth, yet no one warned her to look out for it – in fact, she thought she was having a stroke at the time.

“It was very frightening for her. Half of her face is frozen.

“To have a facial disfigurement, no matter how small, is a burden.

“It gets her down, but she is brave about it.

“She wants to raise awareness about the condition.”

Anyone who would like to support Amanda’s fund-raising can visit www.justgiving.com/Amanda-Duncan3/