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Danny Voyes with family

Danny Voyes, 32, of Baldwin, NY, was able to enjoy Christmas dinner with his family for the first time in four years. Danny, who has had 63 surgeries and suffers from dysphagia (swallowing difficulties), has been unable to eat solids or puréed foods for several years. Danny’s Christmas wish was to have both a seat and a plate (of puréed food) at his family’s dinner table. His wish came true thanks to his commitment to his speech and swallow therapy and the support of his dedicated outpatient speech/swallow team at Catholic Health's Mercy Hospital (Rockville Centre, NY).

Danny Voyes with speech therapy team

“I felt very excited to be able to sit at the Christmas table and enjoy a meal with my loved ones,” said Danny. “Food brings people together and being able to enjoy special moments like this is why I remained motivated and worked, and continue to work, so hard. Also, I really missed pizza.”

Danny received VitalStim™ therapy, an innovative, non-traditional therapy that uses a small current, passing through external electrodes on the neck, to stimulate inactive swallowing muscles. It is the only technology cleared by the FDA for restoring the swallowing function.

Jessica Hsaine, Mercy Hospital speech language pathologist who worked with Danny, said she’s really proud of how far Danny has come in his therapy.

“Danny is very diligent and has never missed any of his appointments,” she said. “We hit this milestone in part because of his commitment to therapy. I’m excited to continue on this journey with Danny and hope to hit the next milestone soon— solid foods.”

Learn more about Catholic Health’s speech therapy services. Call 866-MY-LI-DOC (866-695-4362) to find a Catholic Health physician near you.

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