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, Mar 22 2017

Marathon Runner Pays Tribute to Hadassah Medical Team

After successfully running in the 2017 Jerusalem Marathon, Gil Troy pays tribute to Prof. Meir Liebergall, Director of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Orthopedic Surgery Department, and his medical team, who made this run possible.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Reversing the Odds with Technology and Expertise

It could be a young patient with a virulent flu. Or a man having a severe asthma attack. Or a pregnant woman with a complication of pregnancy.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Cypriot Health Minister Helps Save Israeli Patient

Whether it was a newborn baby with a severe heart defect or a pregnant woman with an unusual ectopic pregnancy, the Hadassah Medical Organization has been known to save the lives of Cypriot patients by helicoptering them to its hospital for complex emergency treatments. Recently, however, it was the Cypriot Health Minister who helped save the life of an Israeli patient.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Top-Tier Turkish Journalists Receive Inside View of Hadassah Hospital

A delegation of top-tier Turkish journalists, accompanied by representatives from the Israel Foreign Ministry, visited Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem this month, marking the first time a high-level Turkish delegation has come to Israel since the new reconciliation agreement was signed between Israel and Turkey.

READ MORE ›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Show More