Woman lost voice for 12 years after swallowing coin

Marie McCreadie [Photo: Courtesy]

Marie McCreadie was just 13 years old when she lost her voice to what doctors could only assume was a freak virus.

12 years later, she was shocked to discover that her sudden loss of voice had been caused by an old coin stuck between her vocal cords, which prevented them from vibrating.

This is an old story that is once again getting a lot of attention because of Marie McCreadie ‘s newly published book, ‘Voiceless’, in which she details the traumatic experience of losing her voice at a young age and regaining it after 12 long years.

When 13-year-old Marie – then Marie Heffernan – chitis, but even after recovering from the illness, she still couldn’t utter a sound.

They performed all kinds of tests but nothing appeared to be wrong, so they eventually put it down to a virus and told the 13-year-old girl to just go back to school and lead a normal life, as a mute. She was frightened and confused, and her parents didn’t really know how to handle things in the beginning either.

Luckily, Marie and her friends started finding new ways of communicating, like passing written notes to each other, which was fun and made getting used to a voiceless life easier.

Things got worse as time went by and her voice didn’t recover, but the other children’s reactions were nothing compared to the treatment she got from her teachers.

Marie studied at the St Anne’s Catholic school in Dapto, Australia, but instead of being comforted by the faculty there, she was ostracised and accused of being a witch.

She recalls one of the priests telling the other girls that her sudden loss of voice was the “work of the devil”, which really stuck with her over the year.

She and her friends made jokes when the teachers accused her of witchcraft, but it stopped being funny when they decided to separate her from the class so she wouldn’t influence the other girls.

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