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Friday, 21 September, 2001, 05:15 GMT 06:15 UK
Cancer patient's 'disgust' at delays
Cancer patient Cyril Smith
Cyril Smith: "I only want a normal voice"
A throat cancer patient who has waited two years for a routine operation says he is "disgusted" with the management at his hospital in Nottinghamshire.

Cyril Smith, 55, of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, had a tracheotomy two years ago after it was discovered he had cancer.

Mr Smith said doctors at the Kings Mill Centre promised to install a special flutter value that would allow him to speak normally again.

A spokesperson for the Kings Mill Centre, near Mansfield, said that at first the hospital could not afford the 1,000 operation.

'Robotic' voice

Now a new pilot project is planned for four people, which may mean that Mr Smith can have the operation in a couple of months.

At the moment Mr Smith uses a electrolarynx, a hand-held device that transforms vibrations into speech.

He said: "All I want to do is speak for myself and to be able to speak to my grandchild and other children in a normal voice. That is the only thing I want."

Mr Smith says that his own grandchild is afraid of his robotic-sounding voice.

After carrying out research on the supply of the valves Mr Smith discovered that other counties in the UK routinely supply them, but Nottinghamshire lags behind.

His wife Carol said: "It would make a tremendous difference to our granddaughter, Amanda , who is six, and I think it would do her and us a lot of good."

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