Hadassah

After 6 Months Without, Grandmother Regains her Voice at Hadassah

Thursday, Jan 22 2015

For nearly half a year, Miri Eliahu could not speak; her voice became a squeak that frightened her grandchildren. Then she found her way to the Hadassah Medical Organization's Voice Clinic and within 81 minutes, her voice was back.

When this young grandmother’s cough and laryngitis didn't seem to go away, she went to see her local physician. She also saw a local speech therapist for months, but nothing helped. Mrs. Eliahu went from being an outgoing and vivacious woman to a silent one.

“Mrs. Eliahu was suffering from aphonia," explains Dr. Tali Landau Zemer, a Hadassah specialist in voice problems. “Aphonia can be a confusing and difficult disorder to diagnose for doctors who haven't seen it and even more difficult for patients. Without your voice, you may feel helpless and even simple tasks like swallowing food may prove painfully inconvenient. Luckily, there are several treatment methods dependent on the severity of the case. Surgery is our last option."

Mrs. Eliahu began treatment with Speech Therapist Sherry Lotem, who did voice therapy exercises with her. Dr. Landau Zemer explains why these exercises are so important:

"You know how people always tell you not to whisper when you are losing your voice? That's not because it's going to hurt your vocal cords. That's because whispering can teach your brain to change the way you speak so that you don't use your voice properly. There's a change in the brain that needs to be overcome--and can be overcome with correct exercises. First you show that a person can make sound, as in a cough. Then you teach her how to speak again. In a short time, the vocal cords relapse to the correct way of working.”

Dr. Landau Zemer recalls that she once had a patient who moved to Israel from the United States. “He hadn't spoken for a year and a half,” she said. “He came to Hadassah ten days into his Aliyah for help. He carried a pad everywhere and wrote what he had to say. But in an hour, we gave him back his voice."

"I heard my voice and asked if that was really me,” relates Mrs. Eliahu. Her first phone call was to her husband. “Do you recognize this voice?” she asked him. “This is your wife, telling you that there has been a miracle--a Hadassah miracle.”

Comments

From: Karen on January 28, 2015
As a Speech, Language Pathologist and a proud Hadassah leader, this story is particularly meaningful to me.
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Wednesday, Nov 30 2016

Hadassah Teams Up with Spinal Cord Institute to Study Outcomes of Traumatic Injuries

The medical interventions and outcomes for Israelis with a spinal cord injury (SCI) will now be captured in the Rick Hansen SCI Registry (RHSCIR), thanks to the November 16th launch of a partnership between the Hadassah Medical Organization and the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization named after the paralympic athlete who suffered a severe spinal cord injury following a car accident.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Nov 17 2016

A Birthday Party in Hadassah’s PICU: Helping a Four-Year-Old Recover

Yehoshua "Shuki" Pepper was crossing a Jerusalem street with an older sibling when a car ran him over. He was rushed to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in fair condition, but he wasn't speaking and subsequent MRIs of his head injury were worrisome.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Nov 17 2016

Ethiopian Pre-Nursing Students: On the Way to Fulfilling a Dream

“I know that some people are fine with looking at a screen all day, but I know I need the human touch--to work with people. I want to be a nurse, " relates Sarah Talala, one of the 18 students of Ethiopian background who were given the opportunity to take a course which enabled them to advance to pre-academic studies at the Hebrew University and then on to nursing school at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Henrietta Szold School of Nursing.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Monday, Nov 14 2016

Granalix BioTechnologies Introduces Food Additive to Protect Against Neurodegenerative Disease

Granalix BioTechnologies, whose founder and Chief Executive Officer is Hadassah Medical Organization Experimental Neurologist Prof. Ruth Gabizon, has launched a food supplement containing pomegranate oil that has proven to protect against neurodegenerative diseases in pre-clinical models.

READ MORE ›

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Show More