By: Madeline Hand
For two-and-a-half years, Birmingham resident Deborah Hays experienced the physical and psychological adversity of having a non-functional voice following an intubation injury that severely damaged the vibratory layer of her vocal folds during a procedure.
Many patients who suffer from inadvertent vocal cord injuries from routine intubations are simply told to give up hope, despite the efforts of many surgeon-scientists today, because there is no confirmed cure. But thanks to a University of Alabama at Birmingham physician, Hays would soon find her sound of resilience.
“After my surgery, I woke up with pain but could not tell where the pain was coming from. My neck was aching, and they told me that it could be from the strain on my vocal cords,” Hays recalled. It was the first day of what would become Hays’ multiyear struggle to regain her ability to effectively communicate aloud.
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