End of mask mode. Polina needs an expensive operation

Weekly “Arguments and Facts” № 47. Why there are fewer fish, birds and animals 24/11/2021

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We are already used to wearing masks in bags and pockets. Wear them in supermarkets and on the subway. We can even choose: plain or colored, disposable or tailor-made. But not everyone has that choice. Some people cannot take off their protective mask even at home.

At 9-year-old Polina Ergardt a strange disease in which nothing hurts and does not bother. With this disease, you can live to a ripe old age, travel, make a career and start a family. But it is very difficult to be happy with her. & Nbsp; Need help Polina Ergardt (9 years old, Chelyabinsk) needs 1 million 300 thousand rubles. for an operation to restore facial expressions.

In a nutshell, Polina does not know how to laugh and cry. Her face always remains motionless, like a mask: both when the teacher puts a bad mark, and when her mother tickles her heels. When asked to smile for a photo, the girl stretches the corners of her lips with her index fingers. When she goes to bed, her mother lowers her eyelids with her palm (the girl cannot blink). When Polina eats, she pushes the pieces down her throat with her fingers, because her tongue is paralyzed. And Polina speaks well, although with such a diagnosis & ndash; should not. And neither doctors nor parents can explain this.

Complete absence of facial expressions & ndash; a sign of the rare Mobius syndrome, in which there are no facial nerves. You should have been born with such a diagnosis in the friendly Ergardt family, where everyone loves to joke and laugh. Aunt Polinka, seeing her emotionless face-mask for the first time, sighed and reassured: “ But there will be no wrinkles. '' There really will be no wrinkles, but the mask will slide down over time, because due to undeveloped facial muscles, nothing can hold the skin. & Nbsp;

It’s not bad to be like everyone else. Polina Ergardt stands out not only for her appearance and unusual surname: she dances hip-hop, is engaged in lego construction, rock climbing, rollerblading and plays computer games so that many at school want to be friends with a tough girl. And what will happen outside the family and after school? Abroad, children with immobile faces are operated on as early as possible, until the syndrome has caused really severe pain & ndash; emotional.

“I dream that my daughter, as she’s grown up, would do makeup and admire the reflection in the mirror”, “ndash; tells Polina's mother. Doctors who are able to make this dream come true & ndash; units. Surgeon Mikhail Novikov lives and operates in Yaroslavl. In this sense, Polina's fortune smiled: there is no need to look for special sheets abroad. Mikhail Leonidovich saw the girl several years ago and said that she still needed to grow up and gain weight. And now Polina has grown up. Now the doctor will take pieces of muscle tissue from her thigh and transplant them into the children's cheeks, tying all the nerve fibers and triggering a signal from the brain to the new muscles. And when everything takes root, Polina will finally learn to smile. Because she has already burst into tears of hers & ndash; without tears.

Mobius syndrome & ndash; the least of the misfortunes she had to face. Apart from her face, Polina's entire body was paralyzed from birth. She could not breathe, swallow, move. She lay like a rag in the crib. She ate through a tube, breathed through a ventilator, then through a tube in her throat. Doctors approached Polinka, crossing themselves. Cleft palate, clubfoot, vision and bowel problems, stiff tongue & ndash; no one could explain what was happening to the child and no one could make a diagnosis. Neither here nor in Germany.

“ Money for medical treatment abroad was collected by everyone in Chelyabinsk, got into debt. The airborne medical service cost 2.5 million, and they returned home without a diagnosis. They did not help us there, they just said: if my daughter starts holding her head, you are heroes '', & ndash; says mom Katya Ergardt. When she and her husband paid off their debts, Polina turned 7 years old, and she not only kept her head, but also went to first grade with her own feet. By that time, she had performed 14 operations, and the total number of anesthesia exceeded 30.

9 years from the endless list of symptoms were crossed out one by one. The palate was fixed, the legs & ndash; partially removed the ventilator and probe. There is only a little left & ndash; remove the frozen wax mask from her face. Someone would be glad that there is, and would wave a hand at the lowered corners of the lips and unblinking eyes, but not Ergardt. They are such people: it is not enough for their daughter to live, it is important for them that she lives happily. They are up to this happiness & ndash; the last step and a million rubles for the operation.

Let's share a smile with Polina! This smile will definitely come back to us.

Opinion & nbsp; expert

Reconstructive surgeon of the Motus medical center & nbsp; Mikhail Novikov:

& ndash; Our treatment is aimed at restoring Polina's facial expressions on both sides. Since the nerves are not congested, the muscles are also missing on the face, operations, which are performed alternately on each side at intervals of three months, are aimed at bringing in new muscle and using the new nerve. This will allow the child to smile and use facial expressions as a tool for non-verbal communication. Treatment is also a way of social rehabilitation of a girl.

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