A student whose face was tragically paralysed after a horror car accident can finally smile, blink and frown again after getting a "smile transplant".
Bethan Robertson-Smith, 29, was driving home from university when she lost control of her car and crashed into another vehicle, crushing her skull into her facial nerves.
After 13 days in a coma the once-bubbly veterinary student woke up to discover every muscle in her face had been paralysed and all her nerves were damaged. Doctors hoped it was a temporary weakness but Bethan was left with a permanently open mouth, and was unable to blink - with one eye stuck open and the other closed.
After years of never being able to raise a smile the student tracked down a plastic surgeon who stretched a nerve from her temple down to her mouth. The 10-hour 'smile transplant' means Bethan can now make facial expressions.
The student was also honoured by David Cameron last month for her work setting up Facial Palsy UK, a charity which supports more than 100,000 people.
Bethan, from Bristol, told SWNS: "It is very rare and there wasn't any support out there for me at the time. "I was always told I was lucky to be alive, letting along walking and talking.
"It feels strange being recognised for the work I have achieved with Facial Palsy UK, although I am glad that I am able to help others now that I feel happier in my own skin."Suggest a correction