Moebius Syndrome

Elisa Relyea did not smile at her high school graduation, on her wedding day or when she held her new-born children for the first time. That’s because Elisa, 42, has a rare medical condition that means she cannot smile or make hardly any facial expressions at all. Doctors believe Elisa has either Moebius Syndrome or a form of congenital facial paralysis which means her face is frozen in a single expression. Extensive surgery has allowed Elisa a very small amount of movement and she compensates with expressive hand gestures and inflections of her voice. She lives with her husband, Tim Relyea, 44, her daughter Emily, 1, and her son Caleb, 3, in Hyde Park, New York, who also has the condition.