Man Suffers Facial Paralysis After Staying Up to Watch World Cup Games for a Week

A 26-year-old man wound up with facial paralysis after wasting several nights watching the World Cup football games for an entire week.

The World Cup is always an exciting time for football fans all over the world, but keeping up with the action is a huge challenge, especially during the group stages, and even more so when the host country is in a very different time zone. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t die-hard fans out there who will sacrifice sleep for nights in a row to make sure they don’t lose a single game. Unfortunately, that can take a terrible toll on one’s body, as a 26-year-old man in China recently learned at his own expense.

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Mr. Cao, a Chinese football fan from Wuhan, in Hubei province who lost not one night but an entire week’s worth of sleep trying to watch all World Cup games, wound up in the hospital with facial paralysis. Even though China didn’t even qualify for this year’s World Cup, Cao would make it a priority to drive straight home after work and watch the games from around 6 pm to 6 am, and then go to work a couple of hours later.

The 26-year-old man was fine for a few days, but it wasn’t long before he started noticing that the lack of sleep was taking a toll on him. And by that time it was already too late.

Photo: Wuhan General Hospital

“On November 30, I slept for two hours after watching the match, and when I woke up, I felt extremely tired,” the man told reporters. “I didn’t think much about it and decided to rest for a bit in the office, but after a while, my condition didn’t seem to improve and it was affecting my work progress.”

Sadly, the worse was yet to come. At one point, Cao felt his lips suddenly tilting to the side, and became unable to move his eyelids. He didn’t panic, thinking that it was only temporary, but the symptoms only got worse and started interfering with his work, so he finally decided to go to the hospital.

Mr. Cao was diagnosed with facial paralysis and needed to undergo specialized treatment to mitigate the symptoms, but he is expected to eventually make a full recovery. Doctors believe that the accumulated lack of sleep, coupled with cold weather and a strong breeze caused the paralysis and advised other football fans not to follow Cao’s example.