Palestinian construction worker gets voice back after accident

Four months after a wall at a construction site fell on 51-year-old Palestinian construction worker Ali Abu Phar'a and tore out his vocal cords, he is able to talk again. When the accident occurred, Phar'a was rushed to Kaplan Medical Center from the building site in Gedera and found to have holes in his lungs, fractures to the cartilage in his throat and breathing problems. Dr. Yonatan Lahav of the ear-nose-and-throat department said that Phar'a was put under anesthesia and drains were inserted in the chest to release escaping from his lungs. Put into intensive care, he was ventilated. Without urgent care, he would never be able to speak or breathe through his nose. As he is Palestinian with no Israeli health insurance, hospital management sped up approval from the Palestinian Authority to undergo surgery. Lahav and Dr. Moshe Yehuda worked for hours sewing his vocal cords and reattaching him to the cartilage in his throat. The fractures were sit with an internal brace. A few weeks later, the brace was removed and he underwent rehabilitation for breathing through his nose, swallowing and speaking. The patient no longer needs an external air hole in his throat to breathe, and his voice is almost normal, says Lahav.