AA 56-year-old Washington woman was told she'd never again move the left side of her face after suffering a serious stroke.
Jarmila Hawes was unable to eat or drink without pain, and people openly stared at her disfigured face, which was frozen in a half-rictus, according to SWNS.
Six months later, Hawes met Dr. Myriam Loyo Li, a surgeon who specializes in moving nerves and muscles to paralyzed areas, thereby rendering them able to move.
In an operation that lasted nine hours, some of Hawes' nerves were transferred from the right side of her face to the left. Earlier this year, she smiled for the first time in more than two years.
"I missed my face. I missed smiling," she said. "My facial expression was always the same. It was terrible. I thought I looked like a monster."
Now she steps outside without feeling ashamed. She walks her dog, she eats in restaurants and takes vacations.
"It is wonderful to smile again, to be able to show when I am happy, and not even think about it," she said.
She also found love and got married.
"I would never have taken that step when half my face was drooping."