My Mother’s SLPs In her lifetime, my mother, Peggy Morgan—a wife, mother, and grandmother—came to know eight speech-language pathologists. During the first half of her life, she met two; during the second half, she met six. Toward the end of her life, she felt that she had been helped by all of them. ... First Person on the Last Page
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First Person on the Last Page  |   May 01, 2010
My Mother’s SLPs
Author Notes
  • Maria Morgan, MA, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and supervisor of rehabilitation services and speech-language pathology services at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Palo Alto, Calif. Contact her at mmorgan@lpch.org.
    Maria Morgan, MA, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and supervisor of rehabilitation services and speech-language pathology services at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Palo Alto, Calif. Contact her at mmorgan@lpch.org.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / First Person on the Last Page
First Person on the Last Page   |   May 01, 2010
My Mother’s SLPs
The ASHA Leader, May 2010, Vol. 15, 39. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.15062010.39
The ASHA Leader, May 2010, Vol. 15, 39. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.15062010.39
In her lifetime, my mother, Peggy Morgan—a wife, mother, and grandmother—came to know eight speech-language pathologists. During the first half of her life, she met two; during the second half, she met six. Toward the end of her life, she felt that she had been helped by all of them.
In the 1960s, an SLP helped her youngest daughter, who had a lisp. In the 1970s, my mother helped me, her oldest daughter, become an SLP. After the 1990s, my mother began to lose her beautiful speaking voice, a memorable trait that had served her well in her career as a telephone operator. With the help of an SLP, she made lifestyle changes that improved her voice quality. A few years later, she was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive neuroendocrine carcinoma of the larynx, and following a partial laryngectomy, her mission was to learn to swallow and improve her voice.
SLP Maria Larrenega visited my mother after surgery to provide information and support. Carol Krusemark, an SLP at my mother’s local medical center, first offered treatment to improve swallowing and voice. Ann Kearney, another SLP who worked closely with the surgeon, reassured my mother that she was on the right track. SLPs Jan Pryor and Rebecca Leonard, who specialize in voice and swallowing at the medical center near her home, tried new techniques when others had done all they could. For all their knowledge, skill, new ideas, thoughtfulness, kindness, and encouragement, my mother was grateful.
Diagnosed with a terminal illness at age 73, my mother worried that clinicians would one day give up on her, lose hope, and stop helping. She was comforted by the fact that they did not. Although told that she had only a few weeks to a few months to live, she lived for another 18 months with medical treatment, working to achieve her dream to get her voice back and eat orally with the help of all the SLPs.
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May 2010
Volume 15, Issue 6