WWE NXT UK star Piper Niven overwhelmed by fans' support and reaction to Bell's palsy diagnosis as she returns to TakeOver competition after just a month

Piper Niven in action at the NXT UK Women's Championship in Blackpool (twitter: @btsportwwe)
Piper Niven in action at the NXT UK Women's Championship in Blackpool (twitter: @btsportwwe)
15:45pm, Tue 14 Jan 2020
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Scottish WWE NXT UK star Piper Niven has expressed how touched she is by the overwhelming support from her fans after she revealed she has been diagnosed with Bell's palsy.

The 28-year-old, whose real name is Kimberly Benson, who went public about the condition last month but still managed to compete in her TakeOver: Blackpool clash with Toni Storm and Kay Lee Ray.

Ahead of the event, she took to social media to share the news about her diagnosis as well as the phenomenal support she has received from the wider WWE community and how she hopes to help others share their stories.

Bell's palsy is a form of facial paralysis that affects around one in 5,000 a year. It causes muscle weakness or paralysis on one side of the face because the nerves controlling certain muscles become inflamed.

Piper revealed it left her in crippling pain but despite most sufferers taking up to six months to recover, she returned to competition after less than one.

"I’ve had a remarkable turnaround. The doctors think I’m Wolverine! I’ve managed to heal remarkably fast," she said.

"TakeOver really spurned me on, but it was a mental drain as well as physical. I didn’t know if it would ever go away. A lot of people and even I didn’t think I’d be cleared for this match.

"But even if I still had a melted face, it wouldn’t stop me. I’d wrestle with an eye patch if I have to."

She shared her experience in the hope to help others and added that the support from fans was what helped her the most.

"They said Bell’s palsy was a rare thing, but you wouldn’t have guessed so from my inboxes. I seem to have resonated with a whole lot of people," said the former Mae Young Classic star.

"If you can be a spokesperson for something be it," she added. "Hopefully just by me saying something on social media, I've helped people find something that works better for them.

"So just giving them a wee bit more confidence to go about their day."

Despite failing to win the Championship gold in Blackpool, Niven now has her eyes on victory in her hometown of Glasgow saying: "Winning in your home town is special. Hearing that roar, I know what that feeling feels like and it's something that never leaves you."

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