I can’t close my eyes without TAPE and I can’t speak properly due to facial paralysis
A MAN has told he couldn’t close his eyes without PAPE due to a rare facial paralysis – which doctors fear could be cancer.
Joe Beaver, 46, was rushed to A&E when his face stiffened and his eyes couldn’t close halfway through a trip to the movies with his wife on Boxing Day the year last.
‘Terrified’ Joe remained in hospital for two weeks, doctors initially believing he had Bell’s palsy – a condition which causes temporary muscle weakness on one side of the face.
But doctors now fear the intern in police custody, who is from Glasgow but lives in London, has lymphoma in his central nervous system.
He still can’t close his eyes – and has to tape them shut to fall asleep.
The paralysis has also made it difficult to move his lips, which means he has difficulty speaking.
Joe told the Daily Record: “I was at the cinema with my wife Rachelle on Boxing Day when part of my face felt completely numb.
“I realized I couldn’t close my eyes and it hurt when the wind hit my eyeballs.
“It was terrifying. The doctors thought I had Bell’s palsy.
“That day I ended up at A&E and didn’t leave for two weeks, I haven’t been able to sleep a night since without duct tape.
“My life has completely changed, I find it difficult to speak and I am in a lot of pain.”
Joe first suspected something was wrong when he fell asleep in the middle of his shift as a volunteer Santa around Christmas.
Symptoms then progressed to problems with balance, then to shoulder pain, headaches and facial numbness.
Joe was initially diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, but – when tests showed he had a high white blood cell count, enlarged lymph nodes and a swollen spleen – doctors became concerned.
He is now awaiting test results to see if he has cancer.
Joe cannot work while he awaits treatment and he hopes to pay for specialist surgery privately as the NHS will not cover it.
Joe’s wife, Rachelle, started a fundraiser to help cover the costs.
To donate, click here.