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Marie Heffernan (pictured with her husband Neil) was 13 when she lost her voice. Doctors initially accused it of bronchitis and throat infection, but only years later would the Wollongong woman discover the truth

& # 39; I was told it was the work of the devil & # 39 ;: a woman who lost her voice at the age of 13, coughed a coin more than a decade later and could suddenly speak

  • Marie Heffernan was 13 when she lost her voice after eating Christmas pudding
  • Doctors blamed it for bronchitis and laryngitis and spent a decade as a mute
  • At the age of 25 she started coughing up blood and then a three-cent silver coin from 1959
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A woman who lost her voice as a child after eating Christmas pudding shared what it felt like to talk again after almost a decade.

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Marie Heffernan was only 13 when she lost her voice.

Doctors initially accused it of bronchitis and throat inflammation, but only years later would the woman from Wollongong, south of Sydney, discover the truth.

Mrs. Heffernan was at work when she suddenly started to choke and coughed up blood.

A black lump then appeared in her mouth, which she later discovered was a 1959 silver coin.

Marie Heffernan (pictured with her husband Neil) was 13 when she lost her voice. Doctors initially accused it of bronchitis and throat infection, but only years later would the Wollongong woman discover the truth

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Marie Heffernan (pictured with her husband Neil) was 13 when she lost her voice. Doctors initially accused it of bronchitis and throat infection, but only years later would the Wollongong woman discover the truth

The coin was stuck between two vocal cords, which prevented them from working.

When the coin was coughed up, Mrs. Heffernan's voice slowly returned.

Mrs. Heffernan said that those quiet 12 years were tough.

She quit school at the age of fourteen because it was too traumatic to be unable to communicate.

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She had used a notepad and pen to communicate with teachers and classmates.

& # 39; I was at the St. Anne Catholic School in Dapto – that has been closed since – and I remember one of the priests who said it & # 39; the work of the devil was & # 39; and it stuck, & # 39; she said The Illawarra Mercury.

A three-cent silver coin from 1959 was placed between two vocal cords, which prevented them from working

A three-cent silver coin from 1959 was placed between two vocal cords, which prevented them from working

A three-cent silver coin from 1959 was placed between two vocal cords, which prevented them from working

She was told that her best bet would be to find a husband because she would never be able to find work if she couldn't talk.

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However, she got a job as a social security typist.

She has since written a book called Voiceless, which describes the shocking story of her childhood.

& # 39; People's responses changed over time – at first their response was a surprise and a sock, but months after my vote had not returned, it became something else. & # 39;

Being able to talk again has completely changed her life.

& # 39; Once I got my vote back, I loved talking on the phone – it was a novelty. I remember the first time I spoke to my mother on the phone – she couldn't believe it. & # 39;

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