Prospective mayoral candidate recovering nicely from a recent infection.
Earlier today Olivia Chow announced that she had been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which occurs when a virus infects and damages some of the nerves in the face. The Trinity-Spadina MP is the likeliest challenger to Rob Ford in a potential mayoral by-election; she said today that while the syndrome has affected her ability to smile and laugh, she is otherwise recovered and in the swing of things.
The full text of her statement:
During the holidays, I woke up with some discomfort in the left side of my face. After visiting my doctor, I discovered that I have the Ramsay Hunt syndrome type 2, which is caused by the same virus that gives us chickenpox and shingles.
Similar to Bell’s palsy, one of the symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a temporary disorder of the nerve that controls movement of the muscles in the face. In my case, it has affected the left side of my face making it difficult to smile, laugh and put in my contact lens.
While this is certainly an inconvenience, thankfully I received fast and effective treatment. Aside from facial weaknesses, I am now completely healthy. It will not affect my work as a Member of Parliament. I continue to swim, run, and bike regularly. You will just have to imagine that I am smiling.
I am learning to be patient as it will take time for my left facial nerves to fully recover. It could take weeks, months or longer.
Overcoming challenges and adversity is something I have always done. This is no different. While I may have some difficulty smiling for a while, I will continue to work hard and have fun. And I look forward to pushing for more investment for transit and infrastructure in the upcoming federal budget.