John Elley says the University of Maryland Medical Center is a
“Second-Time Winner” for him, as he also had successful coronary
bypass surgery here in 2002.
John Elley with daughter Melissa (left) and wife Marion (right)
In November 2005, just before Thanksgiving, I lost my voice. I had taken medication that got lodged in my throat and took a long time to dissolve. I coughed repeatedly and eventually coughed up blood. After this episode, my voice became very weak and I had to speak at a whisper. I was in this condition for about three weeks to a month.
First I went to my primary care doctor, who me that I needed to see a specialist. Then I went to an ENT doctor, who said my left vocal cord was inactive, forcing the right one to do all of the work (vocal fold paralysis). But the ENT doctor said he couldn’t do anything about it. Fortunately, this turned out not be the case. My wife had been going to the Tate Cancer Center at Baltimore Washington Medical Center (formerly North Arundel Hospital) so a doctor there referred me to Dr. Tanya Meyer at the University of Maryland Medical Center [who is also an assistant professor of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the UM School of Medicine].
When I went to Dr. Meyer, she made the same observation as the ENT doctor I had been to, but she said my vocal cord could be repaired by a inserting a “bolster,” which would shift the left vocal cord closer to the right. This way the right vocal cord wouldn’t have to work as hard to make sound come out. This surgery is called thyroplasty with arytenoid adduction.
Dr. Meyer said this would restore my voice to near normal. So I went ahead with it a few days later. I went for surgery on November 21, 2005. After the surgery I was in the hospital for two nights. I was discharged the day before Thanksgiving.
My daughter, Melissa Elley stayed with me when I was being prepared for surgery. She did Healing Touch work, which helped with my recovery. She not only performed the Healing Touch, which provided one hour of energy work for preparation prior to surgery, but she was also able to be there in the Post-Anesthesia Recovery Unit (PACU) on intervals of five to six minutes every hour for four hours, performing Healing Touch to clear the energy fields of stagnent buildup from the surgery and anesthesia. That impressed the doctors; Dr. Meyer was especially impressed with my fast recovery. Melissa is receiving training for Healing Touch International at BWMC.
After the surgery, the improvement was almost instantaneous. I could talk to people and they could understand. I was almost back to my normal speaking voice. Before the operation I could only speak at a low-level whisper. My speech had improved dramatically by the time I was released.
Dr. Meyer made a great recovery of my voice. There was a marked difference between the volume before and after surgery.
I’m thrilled and ready to tell anyone with my kind of problem what was done for me. My experience at University of Maryland has been great. In November 2002, Dr. James Gammie [cardiac surgeon and associate professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine] performed a triple bypass on me. The hospital staff paid a lot of attention to details. The care I had received at that time was good; this time the care was good, too. The University of Maryland was a second-time winner and I have increased confidence in them. I was also impressed with Dr. Meyer and her physician’s assistant, Patricia Martin.
I can have normal conversation now. The procedure restored my emotional stability, and I’m not frustrated. I’m now satisfied that I’m getting my point across.