Woman speaks for the first time in 11yrs following voice box transplant

January 21st, 2011 - 1:11 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 21 (ANI): A woman, who lives in California, has been able to speak for the first time in 11 years - thanks to voice box transplant.

Brenda Jensen’s voice box was damaged during an operation meaning she could only communicate through a hand-held electronic device and breathe through a hole in her neck.

A team of British and American surgeons conducted the delicate 18-hour surgery to replace her damaged larynx, thyroid gland, which controls the body’s metabolism and a 6cm section of windpipe.

Just 13 days later the 52-year-old patient was able to speak.

It is only the second time a larynx transplant has taken place with the first conducted at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio in 1998.

“This operation has restored my life,” the Telegraph quoted Jensen as saying.

“I feel so blessed to have been given this opportunity. It is a miracle. I’m talking, talking, talking, which just amazes my family and friends.

“Every day is a new beginning for me.

“I’m working so hard to use my vocal cords and train my muscles to swallow. I’ll probably never sing in a choir or anything, but it’s exciting to talk normally, and I can’t wait to eat and drink and swim again,” Jensen added.

The operation was carried out in October last year at the University of California Medical Centre.

Although the voice box came from a female donor who was killed in an accident, Jensen’s voice is her own and does not sound like her donor. (ANI)

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