Mark can grin again af­ter pi­o­neer­ing op

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By BEN TRUSLOVE ben.truslove@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Et­ben­truslove

BEAM­ING Mark Mor­ris is cel­e­brat­ing af­ter pi­o­neer­ing surgery re­paired his smile.

The en­gi­neer (41) suf­fered a brain tu­mour in 2008 which re­quired two op­er­a­tions to re­move and save his life.

To do so, sur­geons had to sever the cord con­nect­ing his brain to his face, which meant he lost con­trol of one side mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble to smile.

In March he was the first pa­tient in the east of Eng­land, and one of only a hand­ful in the coun­try, to un­dergo a new pro­ce­dure to give back con­trol to him.

It meant that only a few weeks af­ter the op­er­a­tion he can smile again, rather than the two years it would have taken un­der the old sys­tem.

Mark, from Pas­ton, said: “I spent two weeks only be­ing al­lowed to eat soft food which drove me crazy.

“Now I can chew and I can start us­ing my face. I’m now learn­ing all the time.

“I can make it smile now by grit­ting my teeth. I don’t have any set ex­cer­cises but I’ve just got to see what works for me.

“It’s just great. I’ve been look­ing at pic­tures and it is just un­be­liev­able.

“Now I am smil­ing like I should be, but be­fore the op­er­a­tion I didn’t even like hav­ing my picture taken.”

Mark was given the green light to chew again by con­sul­tant plas­tic sur­geon Richard Price at Ad­den­brooke’s Hospi­tal last week.

But it wasn’t the only piece of good news he could cel­e­brate and he was for­mally dis­charged from the neu­ro­log­i­cal unit in Cam­bridge af­ter his last MRI scan gave him the all-clear.

It now means he can com­pletely re­turn to a nor­mal life, free­ing up his spare time.

But for now he is get­ting used to be­ing able to use his face mus­cles again and en­joy­ing solid food.

He said: “I can highly rec­om­mend soft food as a diet - I’ve lost loads of weight.

“Ev­ery­thing I eat now though tastes great. It’s a bit weird.

“Get­ting the all-clear has been a huge weight off me. Now I won’t have to spend so much time in Cam­bridge, which be­came a sec­ond home.”

Through­out Mark’s or­deal he has had in­valu­able sup­port from fam­ily and friends, par­tic­u­larly at Watling JCB, in Oxney Road, where he works.

His mum Jackie Coul­son (65), from New Eng­land, said: “It has been very hard go­ing for him but it’s all turned out well and last week was the ic­ing on the cake.”

Mark also paid trib­ute to Courage To Smile through which he has met peo­ple with sim­i­lar prob­lems and sup­ported each other.

For more in­for­ma­tion search Courage To Smile on Face­book.

be­fore: Mark Mor­ris (left) shortly be­fore he un­der­went pi­o­neer­ing surgery.

af­ter: Cel­e­brat­ing with a smile at work (above) af­ter the brus­ing on his face went down. (METP-04-05-12RH126) Picture: ROW­LAND HOB­SON

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