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Pulmonary/Speaking Valve - Jean's Story

Photo of Jean for Patient Stories

Jean arrived at Gaylord with a list of complicated medical issues and was admitted to our inpatient Pulmonary Program. He felt isolated and depressed because he was on ventilator and unable to speak. Shortly after being admitted, one of our speech therapists was able to fit Jean with a Passy-Muir speaking valve. He was instantly transformed and able to communicate with his medical team and spend precious time talking and laughing with his daughter.

Communication is central to who we are and when that capacity is diminished or removed, especially when due to illness, it can be frightening and isolating. This is especially true for patients requiring the use of a ventilator. The Passy-Muir speaking valve makes speaking possible for these patients. As one of only 16 Passy-Muir Centers of Excellence in the country, we use the Passy-Muir valve, when appropriate, with our ventilator patients as quickly as possible. We often try to do this within hours of being admitted to Gaylord. Some patients can speak right away with the valve. For others, it may take practice, but the freedom and relief of being able to talk with medical staff and family is immense.