Boy With Facial Paralysis Hopes to Smile for the First Time

Boy has been "asking for a smile" since he was 5-years-old

By Amanda Guerra
|  Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013  |  Updated 9:48 AM EDT
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Next week, 11-year-old Christian Roberts and his family will travel to Seattle where doctors will implant muscles from various parts of his body into Christian's face. Hopefully, giving him the gift that he's never had.. a smile.

Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News

Next week, 11-year-old Christian Roberts and his family will travel to Seattle where doctors will implant muscles from various parts of his body into Christian's face. Hopefully, giving him the gift that he's never had.. a smile.

Lego's are enough to put a smile on any child's face but for 11-year-old Christian Roberts of Denton, Texas, he's having a good time, he just cannot show it.

"We've been seeing a doctor since he was about a year old for facial paralysis," said Christian's mother Molly Roberts.

Next week, Christian and his family will travel to Seattle Children's Hospital's Carniofacial Center where doctors will implant muscles from various parts of his body into Christian's face. Hopefully, giving him the gift that he's never had.

"Well he's been pretty excited," Roberts said. "He's been asking for a smile since he was about five [years old], since he could kind of understand getting it fixed. Since he was little, he has held his hands to make a smile for pictures."

Thanks to one surgery, Christian has some movement in one part of his face. Because he is deaf, Christian communicates with his family through sign language. 

"I didn't realize how excited he would get until he got movement the first time," Molly Roberts said. "He came and woke us up and said, 'Mom! Look! My smile's awake now'!"

"It was very exciting. He shows everybody... people in the grocery store, people at work. So I know it's a big deal to him. I didn't realize how excited he would really be about it."

It will take about 12 weeks after the surgery for Christian to start showing movement. The main concern for doctors is the risk of infection, which could keep those muscles from working.

His family is praying for a successful surgery.

"Just excited to get something he wants," Christian's father Darrell said. "I love him no matter what -- so if he smiles or not -- to get something HE wants, I'm excited about it."

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