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Maria's all smiles as she fights off health scare

DEPUTY Lord Mayor Maria Parodi is smiling again after suffering from a form of face paralysis called Bell's Palsy.

The Labour councillor believed she was in the middle of a stroke last year when she looked in the mirror and saw one side of her face dropping.

Ms Parodi (27) rushed to the emergency room at St Vincent's Hospital with her partner and she was diagnosed with the unusual condition.

She was treated with steroids and then with a laser machine that issued shockwaves through electrodes into her face.

With the help of specialists, she has begun to have feeling in her face once again. "I have come on in leaps and bounds," she said.

"I have been to a neurophysio. It is like a physiotherapist who focuses on the face. She has been brilliant."

Ms Parodi said she was advised to cut down on her workload. But the councillor, who is the youngest ever Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, said: "Nobody can say to me to slow down. There is so much I want to achieve."