Husky model tells how she bounced back from career-threatening disability

13:06 15 May 2012

Sophie Whitelock is able to speak again.

Sophie Whitelock is able to speak again.

Archant

A Romford model can talk for the first time in three years after recovering from a rare throat condition that left her speechless.

Sophie Whitelock, 24, was forced to remain silent after developing vocal polyps.

The mass of tissues in her throat made talking painful and caused her throat to freeze up.

She has only regained her voice in recent weeks having undergone four major operations along with speech therapy.

Sophie, who works as an administrator, said that what had started out as a sore throat had brought her life “to a standstill”.

She said: “First of all it didn’t affect me much, but it got to the point where I never went out.

“I lost friends, nearly lost my job, got signed off for depression and couldn’t even order a cup of coffee on my own.”

She had to rely on text messaging to communicate with her boyfriend and he had to be her voice when they went out in public.

Sophie said: “If I went out, my boyfriend would have to order for me and I would often think the waitresses thought I was deluded or just stuck up!

“I stopped going to parties, going out with friends, booking holidays, and I stopped applying for modelling auditions.”

When she first realised she had more than a sore throat, Sophie was sent home with antibiotics by a doctor, but her voice got worse.

‘Nothing worked’

“Doctors kept sending me for blood tests and putting me on antibiotics but nothing ever worked,” she said.

“It took months for them to send me to an ENT [ear, nose and throat] specialist and I was diagnosed with vocal polyps.”

The condition returned after the first three operations but the fourth, in March, was successful, although she still regularly gets infections.

Sophie said: “I finally have a speaking voice. I can speak a lot better now, I just sound husky.”

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