A British woman defied doctors by speaking again, despite having 90 per cent of her tongue removed during surgery for stage-four cancer.
Gemma Weeks, 37, said she had been having problems with her tongue for six years after a small white patch appeared on the side. But in February this year, a large hole developed, which was so painful she couldn’t eat, reported The Metro.
After Gemma went to the doctor, she was told that she had stage-four mouth and neck cancer, following which, she was rushed into surgery. The doctors told her that she would have most of her tongue removed and might never be able to speak again.
During the surgery, the doctors rebuilt the woman’s tongue using tissue grafts from her arm.
The news outlet further reported that Gemma defied their prediction and managed to say ‘hello’ to her fiance and daughter when they came to visit just a few days after the surgery.
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“Initially, after the operation, I wasn’t able to talk at all, and doctors thought it would stay that way. The first word I said was “hello” when my fiance and daughter came to visit me a few days after surgery,” Gemma was quoted by news outlet The Metro as saying.
“It didn’t sound at all like me, but it progressed, which I’ve been working on ever since, and now people can actually understand me, mostly.”
Surgeons removed 90 per cent of Gemma’s tongue on March 6 at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, with tissue grafts taken from her arm to help rebuild it.