Ryan Westmoreland went from star Boston Red Sox recruit to brain surgery patient in a matter of days in March of 2010. Diagnosed with a life-threatening congenital malformation in his brain stem, the surgery that saved his life also left him with balance problems, fine motor issues and a type of facial paralysis called lower motor neuron facial palsy. He was unable to close his left eye and the left side of his mouth drooped, making him unable to puff his cheeks, whistle or smile with that side of his face.
In addition to months of intense physical and occupational therapy, Varsha Desai, Westmoreland’s OT at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, used Kinesio Tape on the affected side of his face.
” I used taping to facilitate movement and improve symmetry of the face. After taping, immediately the patient could close his eye and blink voluntarily. Taping doesn’t require the patient to use sticky tape at night to close his eye passively or to use medicated ointment to prevent dryness. Their speech improves, as does their ability to chew and to drink without spilling.”
ESPN chronicled the amazing story of Ryan’s journey in an episode of their E:60 program entitled “Ryan’s Hope.”