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Sunday January 23, 15:07

She found her voice after eleven years

This is only the second larynx transplant since 1998
This is only the second larynx transplant since 1998

"Hello, I want to go home." These are the first words uttered by Brenda Jensen, thirteen days after transplant which has restored the speech and the ability to swallow, the Telegraph says.

In October 2010, a team of English and American surgeons have thus taken the larynx, thyroid gland and added 6 inches of trachea from a donor. The package was reimplanted in the patient's throat. The operation lasted 18 hours at the medical center at the University of California. This is only the second larynx transplant since 1998.

Eleven years earlier, an operation had damaged the larynx of this 52 year old woman living in California. Since the patient could not breathe and feed that through a tube connected to a hole in her throat. In addition, an electronic voice box allowed her to speak.

"This made my life," said the woman who had to undergo two months of rehabilitation to relearn how to speak, swallow and breathe through the mouth. She also had to strengthen her vocal cords. If the larynx comes from a donor, the patient's voice is indeed his.

"It's a miracle. I only speak what surprises my friends and my family, " said the American. The latter, however, must undergo lifelong treatment to prevent transplant rejection.


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