Baby was given his voice back through innovative technology

Baby was given his voice back through innovative technology

Grant Hasse was almost robbed of the joy of speaking. A new surgery has restored it for him.

Grant Hasse beat the odds not once, but twice surviving a complicated birth as well as regaining his ability to speak. It is the creation of a new voice box using his own tissue that now lets him speak.

According to CTV News, the need for a new voice box resulted from a complication while Grant was still in the womb.

Grant’s mum — Andrea Hasse, at 18 months pregnant received news that something was “undeniably wrong” with their child. Her son was found to have fully developed lungs despite not being due for another 5 months.

This resulted in Grant’s upper airway being completely blocked, suffocating him at birth. The distraught parents were told that their child had only 1 to 3 per cent chance of survival.

The couple “clung to that 3 per cent” and went through with a caesarean section when Grant was only 27 weeks old. Dr. Glenn Green, a pediatric airway surgeon operated on the mum.

The operation involved creating an opening to Grant’s windpipe below the blockage and inserting a breathing tube. A handheld ventilator, coupled with a breathing machine allowed Grant to breathe normally. Thankfully, the operation was a success and he was able to go home after four months  of being in the hospital.

That was when the second bad news hit the family.

During the operation to clear his throat of the obstruction, doctors found that Grant had an undeveloped voice box and no vocal cords. This left him with the inability to speak unless something was done.

Green stepped in to save the day once more, deciding that this problem could be solved with the creation of a new voice box and vocal cords using Grant’s own tissue. After two major operations, two cord-like structures were formed from nearby muscle. The use of a graft from Grant’s rib separated them, allowing them to vibrate like real vocal chords in order to create sound.


Grant at a speech therapy session.                                    Photo- Associated Press

The good news does not end there. The success of the operation was shown after a single speech therapy, where Grant spoke his first word just after the family reached home.

His first word was “hop.”

Grant turns four today (Happy Birthday, little one!), and he appears to have mastered the use of his unconventional vocal box. A minor raspy voice is the only impediment from this ordeal, something that does not deter Grant nor his parents.

Andrea states, “We don’t really sweat the small stuff. We celebrate every single day that our son is here and is OK” supporting her child as he progresses.

This wonderful news does not exist in isolation — two years back, we found out that a baby was cured of HIV and modern medicine has allowed for children who have suffered complications to live a normal life.

What do you think of Grant’s journey? Drop us a message with your thoughts.

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