"My Voice"

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A woman recovers her voice after 35 years following larynx surgeries

Jan Christian had a traumatic car accident that fractured her windpipe and voice box at the age of seventeen years. Doctors performed surgery to repair her windpipe and larynx enough to let her breathe and swallow, but they couldn't fix her voice. After that she was unable to speak above a muted whisper. Thirty five years later Christian is finally rediscovering what it feels like to be heard after a series of restorative surgeries that used aerospace engineering theories gave her back the gift of speech. The surgeries were performed by Dr. Khosla, the director of the Voice and Swallowing Center at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. Dr. Khosla rebuilt Christian's windpipe and larynx. Using laser he had to re-break the cartilage and, replace parts of it. He also had to reconstruct the missing vocal cord, using muscle, tissue and fat tissues from other parts of her body. The vocal cord had to be re-built in order to produce sound.

An interview of Christian and Dr. Khosla can be watched.