Boy with facial paralysis longs to smile

MARIETTA, Georgia (WXIA-TV) — Maddox Perales can do almost anything, but there's one thing he cannot do: smile.

It's a small act that would mean a lot to the energetic 5-year-old boy and his parents.

"A smile can form a friendship," said his father, Charles Perales. "A smile can introduce you to a new class.

"It's the smallest of things, and it's the biggest of things."

It's the kind of thing he would like to pass along to his son.

"Everyone deserves a smile," says Maddox's mother, Danielle Templer, "and so I won't stop until my son has a smile on his face too."

Danielle and Charlie could not wait to welcome their first child into the world. But immediately after Maddox was born, they say, the doctor dropped him.

"I've been through a lot in the military," Perales said. "It was a lot different feeling when you see your son falling."

Soon after, Maddox was diagnosed with Moebius Syndrome, a facial paralysis that results from either direct trauma or genetics. It affects one in a million babies.

"(The doctor) told us pretty much that he'd never be able to smile," Templer said. "He would never be able to frown, and he wouldn't blink. I remember my therapist saying, 'Don't treat him like he's different.' So I treat him like there's nothing wrong."

For the most part, nothing is wrong. If his face cannot move, the rest of Maddox can't stay still. But Maddox's parents see kindergarten in his near future, meaning interaction beyond his immediate family. They want their son armed with a smile.

They are using a GoFundMe page to raise money for facial reanimation surgery. It is not covered by insurance and costs $100,000.

And the result? According to Templer, "They'll be able to move and create that movement to appear a smile on his face."

"It's not the desire to make him smile," says Maddox's father. "Smiling is just something we do on the outside. It's the desire for him to be happy."

Watch the video above to see Maddox enjoying his favorite hobbies, including swimming and playing the ukulele.

You may also like...

FL boy gets new arm made in 3-D printer

Boy with brain tumor just wants box of cards for birthday

Doctors pay tribute to boy who donated organs

Pit bull saves deaf boy from fire

Hero cat saves small boy from dog attack

Boy recovering after barracuda attack

11-year-old helps rescue child in pool

Toddler saves elderly man from hot car


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment