WHEN Laurence Fowler-Stevens lost his voice while being treated for cancer, he was bereft.
He loved nothing more than singing along to his favourite Beatles songs on the way to work.
Now I have my voice back I’m going to enjoy it to the full – if that means other people sometimes have to suffer my versions of Beatles’ classics then so be itLaurence Fowler-Stevens
But now, 18 months later, he’s back to belting out his favourites after getting his voice back.
The 62-year-old admits his singing might be ‘hard on the ears’ but says now he has his voice back, he is going to enjoy it as much as he can.
He said: ‘I have to say that when I first lost my voice I never realised so much would happen before I could speak properly again.
‘It was a bit of a roller-coaster experience but with the help of my wife Dawn and a very loving family, I have come through and enjoying life to the full.
‘Now I have my voice back I’m going to enjoy it to the full.
‘If that means other people sometimes have to suffer my versions of Beatles’ classics then so be it. I think Twist and Shout is my favourite.’
When Laurence, from Clanfield, first started to lose his voice he thought he had a bug or virus and expected it to clear up in time. But as months went by he decided to get medical help.
He met head, neck and thyroid consultant surgeon Dr Costa Repanos at Spire Portsmouth Hospital who found two cysts close to his vocal cords.
Dr Repanos was confident that they were benign and could be removed with minor surgery but arranged for a CT scan to be carried out before performing the procedure.
The scan found a lung tumour on Laurence’s left lung. It was a carcinoid tumour which, unlike other cancerous tumours, grows slowly over years.
After the diagnosis, Laurence underwent surgery at Spire Southampton Hospital to have the section of lung removed.
Once recovered from the lung surgery Laurence had the throat cysts removed by Dr Repanos and his voice returned.
Dr Repanos said: ‘The cysts arise because of blocked mucous glands just above the vocal cords.
‘They are uncommon and it is extremely rare to have them on both sides of the larynx which is what prompted me to perform a scan in the first place.
‘It was the scan that showed Laurence also had a lung tumour and it probably saved his life.’
The cysts were removed from the larynx by a laser which meant the delicate structure of the rest of the voice box could be preserved, allowing Laurence to recover his voice completely.