Ex Smoker Loses Voice - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/15/08 - Nacogdoches County

Ex Smoker Loses Voice

by Donna McCollum

Cecilia Davis can't remember her first voice. Cancer of the vocal chords took it. Her second voice is powered by a 9 volt battery.    " It's called an electro larynx,"  she said while demonstrating the flashlight size machine that she holds to her throat to talk.

The robot sounding voice is the only voice Davis' granddaughter Madison recognizes. Very matter of factly the child says, " She has a hole in her throat." the four year old is learning how the hole, left by a larengectomy, changed her grandmother's life forever. Davis recalled,  " I smoked cigarettes for 33 years. I began smoking when I was 15 years old and smoked, and smoked up to the day of the surgery. "

Davis now picks up a Bible, rather than cigarettes. A change she made after being in a coma for three months. Nearly died. She's forgotten a lot. She remembers growing up around smokers. Forever the optimist Davis said,  " One good thing came out of it. My brother stopped smoking. His wife stopped smoking. My dad refused to let anybody smoke in his house. My mother never did smoke and there's no smoke in this house. "

The second hand smoke weakened her body and led to her addiction. She fights daily guilt of what her second hand smoke did to her own children. Davis said,  " My children stayed in distress for the first six months of their life and that was because of cigarette smoke in their lungs and not developed like they should of. "

Now Davis wants to protect Madison. The child's mother, Davis' daughter, is a smoker. Madison states,  " I don't like her to smoke. "

Davis is convinced she's alive for a reason. Being an advocate against smoking and second hand smoke is one of her purposes in life. Davis wants people to know, " It puts a tremendous amount of stress on the medical system. There are just thousands of people that go through the emergency room on a daily basis that are having asthma or some other smoke related issue. " 

Davis is returning to a life of simple pleasures, but even those are different. Madison asks her to smell a blooming rose. Davis patiently responds,  " MeMaw can't smell". She can't change that, but her advocacy is making life smell sweeter for those around her.

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