A WOMAN from Darwen who now lives in Edinburgh took part in a six-hour rowing challenge to raise awareness of Bell’s palsy.

Amanda Duncan, 29, did the challenge at Palatine Leisure Centre in Blackpool after she was diagnosed just a few days after giving birth to her daughter.


Amanda, who left Darwen with mum Brenda Crossley a decade ago, said: “When I arrived home with my two-day-old daughter I noticed I couldn’t taste on one side of my mouth and it felt numb.

“When feeding my baby early the next morning I suddenly realised I couldn’t talk properly and I couldn’t smile.

“I was very confused, worried and scared.”

Ten hours later she was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy and discharged with a prescription of steroids and very little information.

She said: “Those early days at home were extremely difficult, my husband had gone back to his job in the Navy so I was coping alone with my older daughter and my baby.

“I had to tape my unblinking eye shut at night but having to untape and retape for the numerous night feeds was difficult.

“I took part in the Rowing Challenge to raise awareness of the charity Facial Palsy UK and the support it they offers.

“The charity has restored some of the self-esteem that I lost and they built my confidence back up.”