Trent's Voice

As many of you know, Trent underwent spine surgery to replace a herniated disc in his neck which was compressing his spinal cord. Upon awaking his voice was hoarse, strained and barely louder that a whisper. After being told that it was a side effect from the surgery and that it should go away in a few days, we have subsequently learned that his right vocal cord is paralyzed.  Over the last two months, Trent has tried to practice “vocal rest," meaning he would do what he could to not say a word, but being Trent, talking and sharing and helping others is part of what he does.

At the end of August, Trent had another procedure done to regain some vocal normalcy. His ENT specialist and speech therapist put a camera down his nose to visualize the still paralyzed vocal cord as they stuck a needle through his neck and injected a material into it. The material pushed the paralyzed cord closer to the working one. As his mother and I watched the procedure, we could see how uncomfortable and painful it was for him and it truly hurt seeing him go through it. Still, that procedure did give some function back. For now, he can “talk,” but he cannot be heard in places with a lot of noise or in a crowded room. The longer or louder he speaks, the weaker his voice becomes, and his vocal cord begins to hurt. The procedure he had is not a cure and is only a temporary band aide as the injection will wear off gradually.

His ENT specialist said it may take 6-12 months for the paralysis to recover, if at all. If it does not show any signs of improvement after 12 months, it is safe to say it is permanent. This will mean additional surgeries to permanently alter his vocal box to give him as best a voice as possible (likely the same as it is now). This procedure would leave Trent at a high risk of losing his voice forever if he were to go through a trauma and need to be intubated or have a trachea tube.  He could lose his voice forever. 

As you can imagine, we have been researching constantly for options to help improve his chances of recovery and were able to find a specialist in LA that has had amazing results in using stem cell injections. The procedure could increase Trent’s chances significantly of regaining his voice. This procedure is very expensive and is, of course, not covered by insurance. Between the surgery, hospital stay, specialists, physical therapy and now potentially outcome changing stem cell injections, out of pocket medical expenses are adding up.

As an attorney, Trent relies heavily on his voice and we need to do everything we can to improve his chances of recovery. After only 2 months without his voice, it is quite humbling to see how much we all take our voices for granted as even simple outings or having music up too loud hinders much of Trent’s ability to communicate. Many of you may not know that Trent has a passion for music and singing. As his girlfriend, I have been lucky enough to hear him sing and I would love to be able to hear him sing and talk fully again.

Trent has always been quick to help others, even during this ordeal, but is hesitant to ask for help himself when it comes to the cost of these potentially outcome changing stem cell injections and overall medical expenses. So, I am creating this account to ask family and friends for any financial help that they can provide (every little bit helps) or even just prayers and encouragement during this stressful time. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, your thoughts and prayers, and all the visits to the house to cheer Trent up!

Trent aka, Adrian Trent Ruark will be the sole beneficiary of this campain.
    • $100 
    • 50 mos
  • Sara Mangum 
    • $50 
    • 50 mos
  • Riley Kaye 
    • $25 
    • 50 mos
  • GoFundMe Team 
    • $1,000 
    • 50 mos
  • WFaye Williams 
    • $100 
    • 50 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Sharon Reibstein 
La Mesa, CA
Adrian Ruark 

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