Voiceless No Longer: California Woman Receives Successful Voice Box Transplant

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Brenda Jensen shows off her new voice box.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

After 11 years of silence, Brenda Jensen is free to speak her mind.

The 52-year-old Modesto, Calif. woman underwent successful larynx transplant surgery – only the second ever – to give her back the power of speech. Jensen’s original voice box was damaged more than a decade ago after complications from another surgery.

(More on TIME.com: See the future of surgery.)

The transplant took more than two years of planning and two days of operating back in October at the University of California Medical Center in Sacramento. Jensen did not say a word until 13 days after the surgery – when, as the Modesto Bee reports, her first words were a very apt “I want to go home.”

See the details of the miraculous surgery from our friends over at Healthland.

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