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John grateful for therapy after voicebox removed

WITHOUT the help of speech pathologists, John Graham wouldn't have a voice.

The Gladstone man was forced to learn how to talk again after being diagnosed with cancer of the larynx about four years ago.

Treatment for the disease meant having his larynx, commonly called the voice box, removed.

The surgery left Mr Graham unable to talk.

For about six months he used an electronic speech aid, until speech pathologists in Brisbane recommended he have a voice prothesis inserted.

The operation to have the prothesis inserted was done in Brisbane, but since then Mr Graham has been taught how to talk again by the speech pathologists at Rockhampton Hospital.

John Graham with his speech pathologist Claire Lane at the Rockhampton Hospital. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
John Graham with his speech pathologist Claire Lane at the Rockhampton Hospital. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

And he can't imagine where he'd be without their help.

He described his quality of life as "excellent" now that he is able to communicate again.

"If it hadn't been for these guys, I wouldn't be talking," he said.

Mr Graham has to clean the prothesis throughout the day to protect it from wear and tear. It is replaced every few months.

Mr Graham's speech pathologist Claire Lane was pleased with his progress.

Ms Lane said it was rewarding to see her patients' lives changed when they could talk again.

Topics:  cancer speech pathologists



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