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Woman Receives Larynx and Trachea Transplant

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Woman Receives Larynx and Trachea Transplant

Brenda Jenson talks for the first time in 12 years thanks to breakthrough larynx transplant surgery…

Brenda Jenson, a Californian woman who lost her voice over a decade ago can now talk once again thanks to a breakthrough surgery that replaced her larynx. Jenson lost her voice because of a ventilation tube accident that happened during an operation 12 years ago. Since then, she had been forced to speak through a mechanical voice box and to breathe air in through a hole in her neck.

But last October, Jenson underwent the groundbreaking larynx transplant that replaced her larynx, trachea, thyroid gland, as well as her nerves and muscles. The surgeons also repaired the muscles in such a way that they would eventually move as they did 12 years ago, and as you can see from the clip, they were most certainly successful.

The video show Jenson speaking first words following the operation last year. In husky tone, she talks to the camera saying, “good morning,” and, “I want to go home,” albeit in good spirits. Around the 1:44 mark, you can see Jenson speaking almost perfectly during a press conference last month.

Although this was officially only the second larynx transplant in medical history, it was the first time that that all the procedures had been carried out at one time. Jenson must take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of her life, but Brenda had already been on such drugs to keep her body from rejecting a kidney and pancreas she received in transplants back in 2006. So for her, there are no extra medications, just the gift of having her freedom of speech back once again.


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  1. Article and Video Source: Newsy Videos Via YouTube, 01/21/2011.

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