This is one lucky woman to be able to talk again, and she already has 2 other transplanted organs and was taking anti rejection drugs after a kidney-pancreas transplant in 2006. This is only the second successful voice box transplant in the US. 18 hours and 2 days of surgery is a long time too.
According to the article her voice box was damaged while she was sedated a few years ago and keep pulling a breathing tube out and damaged her voice box. Insurance nor the government cover such procedures yet and the article indicated that the time was donated by the surgeons and expenses were paid by the hospital. BD
SACRAMENTO -- A 52-year-old woman whose natural voice could have been silenced forever because of vocal cord damage has been able to speak again after undergoing a rare voice box transplant, doctors said Thursday.
Brenda Charett Jensen, 52, reunited with the international team of surgeons who performed the transplant last October. Thursday's appearance was her first in public since having the surgery last October.
Doctors say Jensen is only the second recipient of a successful larynx transplant in the United States.
Jensen damaged her vocal cords more than a decade ago after she repeatedly pulled out her breathing tube while under sedation in the hospital.
Before the transplant, the Modesto woman "talked" with the help of a hand-held device that sounds like an electronic voice, but always yearned to speak with her natural voice.
The operation lasted 18 hours over two days. Doctors replaced her voice box, windpipe and thyroid gland with that of a donor who died in an accident. The surgery was led by doctors at the University of California-Davis Medical Center and included experts from England and Sweden.