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

Friday, Mar 8 2019

Quick Action at Hadassah’s Milstein Heart Center Saves Exuberant Hasidic Dancer

“You can’t dance at all the weddings” is a common Hebrew and Yiddish expression. For Mr. Cohen (not his real name), a 49-year-old teacher, the wedding of a friend’s son was an occasion to get together with classmates from his post-high school yeshiva days when he was 19. Inclined to dance with joy at weddings, this twinkle-eyed, bearded Hassid increased the tempo in the presence of his long-ago pals.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Friday, Mar 8 2019

Hadassah Surgeon Uses Revolutionary Surgery and Stem Cells to Restore Mobility

He grew up on the Mediterranean coast in Ashkelon, but Eyal Turgeman dreamed of becoming an African wilderness tour guide. After serving in the Israel Defense Forces’  elite paratroopers unit, he arrived in Namibia, a southwestern African country marked by rocky trails, sunshine, and sandy open spaces.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Feb 27 2019

A Double Stroke at the Dead Sea

Imagine having a double stroke in two different arteries while on a day trip at the Dead Sea! What could be the chances of survival?

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Feb 27 2019

A Miracle in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Hadassah —as recalled by Dr. Sigal Sviri, Director

On a cold December morning, a 26-year-old mother of two started developing flu symptoms, with fever, headache, and shortness of breath. As her breathing got worse, she came to the emergency room at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and was admitted to the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU).

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