A 12-year-old boy in Denton has a lot to smile about these days, but it’s the first time he’s actually be able show off his grin.
Christian Roberts was born with Charge Syndrome and entire facial paralysis.
Around the age of 5, his parents said they started to notice he was unable to smile.
“He would hold his hands up to his mouth to make a smile,” said Christian’s mother, Molly Roberts.
“I just said, ‘do you want doctors to fix your smile? And he said 'yes!’ And from then on, he thought all doctors appointments were related to fixing his smile,” she said.
But the process wasn't easy. In fact, it took years.
This past year, Christian and his parents had to fly to the Seattle Children's Hospital Craniofacial Center for two invasive surgeries where doctors took muscles from various parts of Christian’s body and put them in his cheeks.
After spending weeks in Washington, the family wearily made it home on Christmas Eve.
Just a few weeks later, Christian woke them up with big news.
"For days proceeding he'd say, 'It tickles. It tickles.' I didn't think much of it because it was soon soon. But then a few days later he was like, 'It woke up!' And we were like, 'Ahhhh!'"
Christian’s smile was in full swing by his 12th birthday party, where, for the first time, he was really able to smile for the cameras.
“He just loves showing it off. So, any chances he gets, the more chances he gets, the happier he is,” said his father Darrell Roberts.
“It makes me happy, makes me a little more relieved. Yeah, it was good to get it done because it was something he wanted to get done. But now it’s over with and we can sit back and enjoy it now. It’s very much a relief.”
The Roberts family said they hope Christian’s story will inspire families to learn more about Charge Syndrome and those affected by it.
You can find out more by going to texaschargers.org.