Different things happen to different people that cause facial deformities in people’s lives. Some can be repaired through extensive re-constructive facial plastic surgery and others simply cannot be helped. Caitlin Cowen suffered from a situation where she was left without the inability to smile. Not being able to smile could deprive someone of a very important form of daily communication. For some smiling is an important part of life and to have that taken away from them can be a very devastating event.

“A smile was a simple form of communication,” said Cowen, a sophomore at Louisiana’s Nicholls State University. “I felt like if I was happy, I couldn’t show it. So it meant that I wasn’t really happy.”

Caitlin was going through a surgery that required a brain tumor to be removed. After the surgery she suffered from paralysis that left her unable to smile. Caitlin spent months going through rehabilitation in order to be able to smile again but there was no luck. Later this year Boston plastic surgeons at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary conducted a surgical procedure that was able to restore the smile. A procedure by the name of free gracilis transfer was able to give Caitlin back what many of take for granted, the ability to show our smile.