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Birmingham, Alabama VA Health Care System
Veteran regains speech with help from the BVAHCS
By Derrick Smith, Public Affairs Specialist
Wednesday, July 29, 2020Purple Heart recipient David Causey has a lot to say as of recent. Causey is Birmingham Veterans Affairs Health Care System's first reipient of an "artificial larynx" device that substitutes sound/vibration source in the absence of a voice box.
"Since Mr. Causey had a laryngectomy (removal of voice box), he was unable to produce voice or sound for speech," said Speech Pathologist Travis Wolfe. "Mr. Causey presses a button, that activates the "artificial larynx" implanted into the upper denture, to produce sound that is then used to talk. It is an alternative to the electrolarynx that you may see held up to a laryngectomee's neck that makes a vibrating sound. This is the first such device that I'm aware of being issued at the BVAHCS."
"I am so happy the VA allowed me to get this," said the Army Veteran. "I like it a lot better."
Dr. Jack MOrris, DMD serves as a prosthodontist at the BVAHCS.
"We made Mr. Causey's denture first and sent it out to place a speaker in it to help the patient with his speech. The prostheses was delivered in June. Mr. Wolfe will help the patient learn to speak with the device."
Mr. Causey and his daughter Lisa Milsap found the device online and then Dr. Morris and his team did much of the leg work being in contact with the third party company.
Next, Mr. Causey will have therapy sessions focusing on articulation.