Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Implant Surgery

Congrats to those who guessed that Tricia was having surgery to help strengthen her voice. The surgery is called (WARNING: the info share in the following link, especially the video, is graphic...don't view if medical stuff makes you queezy) Medialization Laryngoplasty, and is basically a (relatively) quick procedure that involves placing a small implant next to the paralyzed vocal cord to nudge it close enough to the working cord to allow the voice to sound normal.

Tricia's left vocal cord was paralyzed during her transplant surgery...basically, the nerves stemming from the left vocal cord can reach all the way down to where they cut across Tricia's chest. A paralyzed vocal cord is common with transplant surgeries, but often, the damage is naturally corrected within six months. Tricia's voice did not get better over time, and once she was deemed healthy and strong enough after all of the cancer stuff, she jumped at the chance to have the surgery, even though it was scheduled (one day in advance) on Gwyneth's birthday. So, basically, Tricia has been speaking with half of her normal voice since the transplant.

Tricia was awake during the procedure...the medical team needed to ask her to speak so that they could place the implant in the best spot. Although it will take a week or so for Tricia to fully recover and for the swelling and irritation in her throat to allow her voice to be as strong as possible, she is feeling great and we could tell an immediate difference in the strength of her voice.

Sorry to keep you guessing for so long...check out the comparison of the two videos below...

Just Before Surgery
video

Tonight, 5 Days Post-Surgery
video

The coolest part of this story? When I spoke with Tricia after her surgery around noon on Gwyneth's birthday, it had been exactly 365 days, almost to the hour, since I (and Gwyneth too) had last heard my wife's beautiful voice so clearly just before she was wheeled off for the c-section...although the transplant surgery caused the damage, you might remember that Tricia's voice was muted while she was intubated from the time between c-section until the transplant surgery.

Anyway, we're excited to have a little more of our "normal" life back again...and Tricia is excited to be able to sing, have people understand her on the phone and yell at me when I'm goofing around too much.

:)

Nate

147 comments:

Sparkette said...

Very neat! God is amazing in the hands of these Doctors able to do these things!

Jodi said...

Very cool! We are praying that Tricia feels better soon!

Our little girl is teething too and she is taking is pretty well. Praise God!

She is also a former micro-preemie and doing very well. It is always great to see how well both of your girls are doing.

Take Care
Jodi

Vaughn Family Blog said...

that is incredible!!

Kirst said...

That is awesome.

Melony said...

It's amazing how much life can change in a year's time!! Praying that Tricia is feeling better soon.

I don't know if I missed a post or not, but you mentioned before Christmas that you had an awesome gift for Tricia for Christmas and I never read what it was. Maybe it's personal and you didn't plan to share it.. Just curious.

-stephanie- said...

Wow, exciting and amazing. Praise God!

Stacemoe said...

Simply amazing!!! I am so so so happy for ya'll!!!! Thanks for all the updates and videos Nate, I know it takes a lot of time to keep up with this blog and I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate it...Praying for all of you!

Jen said...

So beautiful...thanks for sharing!

The Beaver Bunch said...

Remarkable!

Congrats on a smooth surgery. Glad you can yell at Nate. I'm sure he's need someone to keep him in line.

My Little Cuties said...

That is an amazing difference already and there's still healing to happen!

Bridget said...

Incredible results! Glad to hear that you are doing well!

Laurie in Ca. said...

Wow!! This is so amazing how these things can be done and the improvement in Tricia's sweet voice. And new teeth for Gwyneth, it's all so good Nate. I am glad Tricia can yell at you from across the rooms in your new house. You are so busted now:) I am so happy for the three of you and all the wonderful things God is doing in your lives. I love you all.

Laurie

Cara said...

What an amazing difference! Yay Tricia! :)

Joy said...

That is truly amazing! I wanted to ask, what doctor do you see for something like that. The reason I ask is because one of my daugters has a hoarse sounding voice and she was a 27 weeker preemie. I am sure it has something to do with the ventilator but wasn't sure where to take her. Thanks for the before and after, miraculous!!

Carol said...

Wow, it's amazing how much stronger your voice is, Tricia! Now, you wouldn't want to yell at Nate, would you???

Mrs. Dan said...

**wild applause**

Silly me never really noticed the difference in her voice post-transplant until you hit me right between the eyes. What a great pair of videos!

WOOOOOOOT!!!!!!! Tricia, you have an awesome voice! :)

Our life is a bowl of Barry's said...

That is just great! So glad to see your life returning to 'normal' or at least some version of it...you do have a one year old after all..!!

Angie said...

You sounds great, Tricia! So happy for you!

Angie

Rich and Lauren said...

She sounds so great! We love you guys and are so happy for you.

grey like snuffie said...

So exciting.

chopstix said...

miles of smiles from tennessee! what an amazing difference, and isn't it just amazing that gwyneth will be able to hear, really hear, her mom's voice?
such a sweet, sweet blessing!! thanks for letting us listen in!

amanda said...

wow. how incredible. praying everything continues well. it amazes me at her size. (my three month old is 14 pounds and 25 inches.) god is so cool.

Emily said...

Amazing difference already! So glad for you guys that Tricia could get this surgery done. Hooray!

Rebecca said...

WOW! I am amazed at the change!!! God truly has blessed you guys!!!

Yamma Mamma said...

God is so good!

Emily said...

That is incredible!!! I'm so happy for all of you! A beautiful voice to sing songs to her sweet baby girl!!
Emily in Mississippi

Carrie said...

That is awesome...I can't believe the difference the surgery made...good for you Trish!
Carrie

Christy said...

Oh how cool! You sound great Tricia!! :)

Heidi said...

Yeah Tricia!! Regaining your voice is awesome!! Us transplantee's have had some many strange side effects! I'm so glad that you are doing better with your voice! AWESOME! Hugs!! Heidi

♥ Somebody Loved ♥ said...

before
& after

hearing her voice warmed my heart.
i am so happy for all of you.

ToOdLeS.ShEiLa

dave.heather said...

Beautiful voice. So glad she has it back. Voice...something we take for granted. Hugs, Heather in CA

Ginger said...

That is awesome!

Paige said...

Wonderful News!

Honea Household said...

Wow, that is amazing. I had NO idea they could do that. Wow! Awesome!

Pam D said...

Tricia, you sound wonderful! (and dang, you're on pitch, too... ! ) I can't express how wonderful it is to not only be able to keep up with all that is happening, but to be able to HEAR it, too! big smiles and high fives!

Tricia (Zach's mom) said...

Nate-The difference is amazing. God truely is awesome and continues to prove that to me every single day. Thank you so much to you, Tricia, and Gwenyth for so openingly sharing such intimate parts of your lives. You truely are inspirations.

The Barnes Crew said...

YAY...that's fantastic! Congrats to all of you...what an amazing year you all have had!

Kristen said...

Amazing! What a beautiful voice!

Brad & Karen said...

What a difference the implant has made! Wow! It is such an education following along on your blog!
Looking forward to more updates as time permits.
Hope Tricia starts to feel better! Love the latest photos of tooth #2!
Take Care
Karen
Vancouver, BC
Canada

Lost My Mind said...

Oh wow!!! Neat.

Laura said...

this post was so awesome and such an encouragement to me. my 7 yu/o son ( former 1 lb 24 weeker) has a paralyzed vocal cord too. it is secondary to his PDA open heart surgical procedure or to the 10 weeks intubated and on a ventilator.
about 4 years ago an ENT told us something like this will be possible for Daniel after puberty. for me to see the before and after encourages me so much.
thanks!

Maddy said...

I have pulmonary hypertension and I've commented once or twice before. I'm a young mom (well, 37 is young to me ;-) and before my PH diagnosis, I lost my voice. Eventually diagnosed as a paralyzed vocal cord (left just like Tricia) and I had the surgery in June of '07 with a doc at UNC. It had to be revised in Aug '07.
I STILL don't have a voice that is near normal.
It is so isolating and so frustrating. I have more of a voice than I had before so I've sort of "settled" for what I have.
But I desperately want the type of result Tricia got. I'm genuinely happy for her and you and it brought tears to my eyes.
Congrats and enjoy. I would love to know the name of your doc. I need my voice back, even if it means going to a different doctor!
Maddy pistolpetefans@gmail.com

Michelle Jamie said...

yay for Tricia

Violet said...

It is obvious that she has a stronger voice! So cool.

I'm one of those people who gets kind of grossed out by medical stuff but also just can't help watch it because I am fascinated. So, yes, I watched it, and it was fascinating. Although, I can certainly see why people are in so much pain after surgery! Phew!

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

Wow! Medical Technology today is absolutely awesome!!!

So glad Tricia is doing better!

Blessings!
~Beth

teresia benedicta&johanna anna said...

that's so good!

Andrea said...

How cool is that? I never knew they could do that kind of implant!! Tricia, you have a beautiful voice!!! Congrats on getting it back!

Misty Rice-Baniewicz said...

Oh that is so neat. It actually brought tears to my eyes. Your wife seems like such a sweet and beautiful lady. I am so happy to see God's blessings in all of your lives. Way to go Tricia for being so strong. Happy Birthday little girl.

Rebecca said...

that is soooo wonderful!!! always praying for you guys...

i am doing a GIVEAWAY- carnival style... come check it out :-)

http://shawnandrebecca.blogspot.com/

Rob and Amy said...

What an amazing difference!!!! I'm so happy for yall!

GreerPowers said...

God is SO good!! It is truly amazing what He has done in your lives in just one year...Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!

Ang said...

That is so awesome to hear her voice!! God is amazing!!

Elizabeth said...

What an amazing difference! How wonderful to hear her voice so strong! God is so good!

Kira =] said...

Yay!!! Congratulations on Tricia having voice back! It's not fair to be a wife & mother and not be able to shout. =]

Blessings From Above said...

I never would have guessed that was the surgery Tricia was having!

She sounds awesome...you can tell a huge difference already.

Jennifer in Ohio

Cheryl said...

I really must stop reading these posts while at work. Crying with joy, at my computer, is not a good thing.

Ree said...

That is sooo awesome!! It is truly amazing what modern science & medicine can do!!

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

You sound great!

Candy said...

Beautiful voice, both before and after! And what an amazing way our God works to guide the hands of researchers and doctors and nurses to be able to do these procedures.

Julie said...

I was HOPING that's what it was! Although I didn't know exactly what the surgery was called....

YAY for Tricia!

Martha said...

Thanks for sharing. I have been dealing with a paralyzed vocal cord for about 3 years now, when I was diagnosed, this type of surgery was not what was offered. I have just dealt with it for these years, very aggravating at times! I may have to look into this again!

I'm glad Trisha is doing well.

Martha said...

Sorry, just needed to comment on Maddy's comment. I don't seem to have a way to reply directly to her! I hope you don't mind. I totally understand you comment "It is so isolating and so frustrating." I totally relate to that! My family and co-workers (who I deal with only over the phone) are accustomed to it, but once I'm out in public I constantly have to "explain. I choose not to get involved even in a church for that reason!

TNKerry said...

So glad all went well and you can hear her voice again :)

Lisa said...

BEAUTIFUL!

Mary said...

That's awesome. Congratulations Tricia. It's so good to hear more from you. Hope ya'll are having a blessed day.

Mary
Florida

applesofgold said...

I don't know why, but hearing her sing it the second time made me cry...What is wrong with me?!?!?!?!? Any way, I am so happy for you, and just amazed at what God is doing in and through your family.

Karri said...

Wow! That is amazing!

Pigsooie said...

Wow, you have some very brave women in your life.
Nice to hear her beautiful voice.

Alice said...

WOW!!! So happy for you guys!!

marcia said...

Yeah...especially the yelling at you part! :) It just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it!! :)

maggie said...

That is really awesome and such an amazing difference!

Susanna... said...

so amazing! i'm so happy for you tricia!! much love!

Heather said...

That's AWESOME!!! Tricia you sound AMAZING!!
I'm so glad everything worked out - talk about a great first birthday gift, Lil'G will always remember her mama's voice. I haven't lived with or seen my mom in twenty-three years and I still can hear her voice. I'm so happy for you all!

ditarae said...

Tricia, your song was beautiful before AND after! I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!

Emma and Mommy said...

It results are amazing. I can't help but smile. The changes over the last year in your life have all been such blessings. Who would have thought? I am so glad life is settling down and you have your new home for life to finally begin to feel more "normal". Bless you all

AlaneM said...

Congratulations Tricia - what a blessing it must be!!
And I love the timing...God is SO good!

Meredith said...

I have tears in my eyes here... So thankful you are ALL doing so well!! Praise the Lord!

Aspiemom said...

I figured that was what she was having done. Glad it turned out well and she can yell at you better! lol

Marc and Charity said...

wow, that is amazing!!! How cool.

JJ&K said...

She sounds great! What an awesome chance to have her voice back!

Carol said...

Lovely voice Tricia! Lovey smile little toothsome One Year Old! Happy news.

Hannah Grace said...

Congragulations!! That is fantastic!!

Becky in VA said...

Great news!!! Tricia, you are such an awesome person, over and over you just keep amazing me with your strength and fortitude! Of course, it doesn't hurt that you have an amazing husband, daughter, family and all of us!!!

You're beautiful.

You go, girl!

Love to all.

Meg said...

love the video. thanks for posting.

Elaine said...

What a beautiful voice. Gwyneth, You are so lucky to have such a beautiful Mother singing to you in such a beautiful voice.
Glad to hear all went well.
Elaine from MT

Aggiema (Michelle) said...

Wow, what a difference. She is loud and clear after the surgery. That is wonderful. Did Gwyneth react differently to her Mama's new voice? Praise God for the blessing of Tricia's stronger voice!

Erin said...

INCREDIBLE!!!!! WOW!

Amy said...

That is amazing! And what a beautiful voice she has!

Thanks for sharing this newest miracle! :)

Me and my Gurl said...

Tricia,

You give me such hope. You are amazing and God is AMAZING working through you. Praise God you can sing Happy Birthday to you precious miracle Gwenyth. She is so adorable. God Bless all of you .

Sonja - Fl

terri c said...

Gorgeous!!! Wonderful news, and Nate? Goofing around too much? Who'd have thought? Hope Tricia keeps on healing well from the surgery. Prayers continuing.

*Lissa* said...

Amazing!

Brown Eyed Girl said...

The marvels of modern medicine. Gotta love it!

Sarah Joy said...

That was awesome to hear! Thanks for sharing!

Carissa said...

That's beautiful!! :)

veronica said...

Wow! How amazing and beautiful Tricia sounds!

Kristina said...

wow, I am amazed, what a wonderful thing to have restored! Blessings to you all!

NC Buckeye Fans said...

Sounds great. Isn't science amazing?!?! I never would have thought.

Pamela @ Frugal Vet Tech said...

Wow! That's fantastic!

TheRagan3 said...

Tricia sounds WONDERFUL!! So cool what doctors are able to do with their wisdom. Thanks for updating and sharing the video.

Leah said...

As a former Speech Language Pathologist, there is a huge difference in quality of her voice. The medical advances that the Lord has allowed man to discover are truly a blessing from Him.

Katie Hilfiker said...

What a difference! You guys are amazing, and I love following your story. Gwyneth is adorable!

Terry Gray Sr. said...

Praise God. This is Great. Glad for you both. Now you can yell at Nathen when he don't pick up his socks.

Twinkletoes said...

I have goosebumps! Thanks for sharing! Another success story in your life! Continue to feel well Tricia!

Marsmile said...

Glad Tricia's voice has improved with the surgery! It appears you (Tricia) are doing so well and I am very happy about that! :-)

Cheri (prounounced Cherry...really!) said...

AMAZING! I'm sure you have NO idea what NORMAL is anymore but thank God for this procedure!!! Always checkin' in on you and yours. I've been following your blog a whole year....how time flies....Cheri in MO

I am Heather...creator of all things crafty! said...

Wow, that's so cool. I could tell the drastic difference too.

Momof2bz said...

You sound awesome Tricia!!! I hope you have a quick recovery. Glad that things went well.

Jennifer said...

Wonderfule news! Love the comparison videos.

Dawn said...

WOW ~ That gave me goosebumps!!!

sfessler17 said...

OOO! That's very cool! The difference is amazing!

Rachael and Travis said...

WOW!

Karis said...

That is AWESOME :)! Hooray!

Joy said...

I'm a speech pathologist and that's totally cool!!!! I've always thought the voice is tied to our individual identities - it's how most people communicate who they are. It's unique (a la "voice print"). I'm glad for Tricia that she has her "real voice" back.

Bonnie said...

An extra sprinkling of God's grace and His impecable timing!

Andi from NC said...

This is the first time I've ever commented, but I've been following your story since last January.

My 2 yr old daughter made me play Tricia singing Happy Birthday over and over and over again this afternoon. She's never done anything like that before. Tricia's sweet voice made my baby laugh and laugh. I can only imagine how it makes you feel to hear it again after so long.

Happy Birthday to Gwyneth and my continued best wishes to your sweet, sweet family.

Catherine said...

Oh Tricia!!! SOOOO happy for you! What a wonderful blessing this surgery is for you! It's one of those things that unless you've been through this problem or something similar it's hard to understand how it affects your life.

I had a virus in 2001 that paralyzed my vocal chords. Couldn't say anything at all for over 2 months. After that it took over 2 years for my voice to come back to what is my 'new normal.' SO happy for you!

Bring on the Drive Thru monitors which I'm guessing you might not have been able to use for the past year. Praising God for the return of your voice!

Cristi said...

Congrats!

Kari said...

Here's hoping Tricia can yell at you from the top of her lungs:)
Congrats!!!

Barrett & Jen said...

You sound great!

Clair said...

WOW!

Jenn said...

Truly remarkable!

Tricia has a beautiful voice!!! :)

Scott said...

Awesome story and great voice!! We still pray for you, Trisha, everyday. Trusting God for a full and as normal as possible life.

Amy said...

What a dramatic improvement! God's healing power is truly awesome!

Tamara M. said...

Sounds Good!!

Sarah said...

That is too cool. I've never heard Tricia's voice "unmuted" before, I like it.

jodieboedie said...

That is WONDERFUL!

I think about your family and pray for you daily.

http://www.commonmom.com

Amy said...

I am so happy for your family. I love her voice. She singing so pretty.

Stefanie said...

That's amazing...I am crying right now I'm so happy for her and your family.
God Bless
Stefanie

Jen said...

Wow! What a huge difference! And she's got a great singing voice too...every note on key! Most people can't even compete with that. Sorry, I just watched American Idol yesterday. ;-)

Caroline said...

I tried to listen to this earlier and it wouldn't work - it did now!!! FANTASTICCCCCCCC! I'm so thrilled for you!!! Doing the before and after really helped us hear the improvement!
Love and prayers.
xxx

Chelley said...

G day I am a faithful reader to your blog and I am asking for some help for Urgent Immediate Prayer Needed

A tragic situation is going on over at A Place Called Simplicity. This amazing family just brought home 2 children from Uganda and are in the process of bringing home a special needs daughter from China.

This morning their house burned to the ground.


Thankfully all the children got out in time... the blog address is
http://aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/

They really need all the prayers they can get and i know that you have such a huge amount of people that prayed for your family... I am sure you get alot of these requests but please could you send the word out.....

I have faithfully read this familys blog and I dont know them in person as I live in Australia but want to to soemthing to get the prayers that the so need

Zombie said...

Wow! Praise God for that.

Emily said...

The difference is amazing.

Bethany said...

Wow, what an amazing difference! Tricia, you sound wonderful!! :)

amanda said...

Beautiful, melodic sounds Tricia has.

Loved the video of the surgery, especially when he cut the implant for size, so sharp and straight.

Liz said...

Awesome!!!! You've got such a sweet voice, Tricia!

Twila said...

So glad that Tricia is getting her voice back.

Holly said...

Tricia, I'm so happy for you!!! I can only imagine how frustrating it was at times not to have the best use of your voice for so long.

Betsy McK said...

How amazing, you can really tell a difference!

Rebecca said...

technically it would be 366 days cause it was a leap year..

nate, it has been a blessing to read your blog for the past year and a pleasure to be able to follow your family!

leannenannette said...

Wow! That is amazing! She must be thrilled to have most of her voice back!

Froggymama said...

Hurray!!! Now that is strength, after all she's been through to welcome yet another surgery. What a mama! And what a beautiful voice.

Joyful Mom said...

What a beautiful voice! :)

Hugs from El Paso,
Karla and family

Rachel said...

This is so awesome that they can do this. It is a huge difference. Congrats Tricia on getting your wonderful voice back.

bravestredhead said...

Wow: your story is amazing! You are one tremendous CF family...

I am a singer, 32 with CF, and just got the gift of life on November 4th... nobody told me the risk of paralysis, although I still would have gone ahead with the risk if only to breath again. I am looking forward to that return to "normal life" that you speak of so fondly!

I'm so glad to read your blog. Keep it coming and continued success.

Alex

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone giving God the credit for what these amazing surgeons have accomplished? If that logic is valid, then we must also blame God for all of the failed surgeries.

CFHusband said...

@Anonymous

I appreciate differing opinions. However, by your logic, we'd also have to blame the surgeons for any failed surgeries, which we know wouldn't necessarily be true either. The truth is, those of us who have a relationship with God know that He is to be thanked, as are the surgeons.