Preston Brust, one half of country duo LoCash, is opening up about his decadeslong fight with Bell’s palsy, a facial weakness condition.
First diagnosed in 2009, Preston suffered a rare recurrence of the condition last December. About 40,000 Americans live with Bell’s palsy, which causes one-sided facial paralysis and has no known cure.
When he first got diagnosed, Preston had never heard of the condition. He thought he was having a stroke. After learning more about Bell’s palsey, he worried about how it would affect his career, as he and his duet partner, Chris Lucas, were rising stars in country music at the time.
“My initial reaction was, like, ‘I can’t let anybody see me like this,’” Preston tells People. “But Chris had my back, and I didn’t want to stop working. I was like, ‘I’m letting LoCash down if I don’t go out and work and tour.”
Back in 2009, the healing process took about seven months, and he regained about 70 percent of his strength on the affected side of his face. When the condition returned in 2021, he says, he felt like all that progress had gone “down the drain.”
“I remember waking up my wife [Kristen] and telling her Bell’s had hit me again,” he says. “We just hugged for a few minutes and I didn’t want to let go because I knew when I did, my next journey was going to begin.”
This time around, though, he’s not hiding his condition. Inspired by pop star Justin Bieber’s public bout with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, Preston decided he wanted to be open with his fans. “It feels good to share it with everybody,” he explains.
LoCash’s latest hit is “Beach Boys,” which tributes to and features legendary pop act The Beach Boys.
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