On October 9, 2021, Martine Ho addressed her "Internet fam" and revealed that she has been struggling with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (aka adult chicken pox or shingles). It happened right before she and husband Cliff Ho welcomed their baby daughter, Penelope. Martine said,
"The morning before my planned Cesarean birth to Penelope, I woke up with the left side [of my face] completely paralyzed. I was brushing my teeth and noticed the water just spilling out and that I was unable to blink. I thought I might be having a stroke actually."
She rushed to the doctor and received her diagnosis.
Martine Ho's Ramsay Hunt Syndrome diagnosis
Martine explained, "When you have chicken pox as a kid, the virus can still live on in your nerves and come back to haunt you as an adult when your immune system is weakened (i.e., during pregnancy or stressful times, which pretty summed up my 2020). In my case, the virus attacked my facial nerve causing the paralysis."
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Unfortunately, Martine has experienced a more serious case of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, resulting in severe nerve damage.
This means she will "never be able to smile the same [way] again or have the same facial mobility."
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The new mom decided to talk about her condition because she didn't want to feel ashamed about what she's going through.
"New deeper meaning to smiling on the inside. No words to express the gratitude I have for my community here. Your messages have given me the strength and comfort I needed to to share my journey with facial paralysis. Sending everyone my deepest love and warmest virtual hugs right back xo."