Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Mark finds voice for wedding speech

PUBLISHED: 10:13 08 June 2011

(click on image for larger view) Mike Richards who has found a cure to his speech stammer with Mark Wilson, Weston Hospital.

(click on image for larger view) Mike Richards who has found a cure to his speech stammer with Mark Wilson, Weston Hospital.

Archant

A STAMMERING father scared his speech problem would ruin his moment at his daughter’s wedding has found a cure - in the shape of a mobile phone.

Concerned Mark Wilson approached doctors at Weston General Hospital when he found his stammer was affecting his plans to deliver an emotional speech at his daughter’s special day this August.

But the 54-year-old’s hopes seemed dashed when he was told by speech therapist Mike Richards that only an electronic device would help - at a cost of £2,000.

However, when researching the problem, Mr Richards found an iPhone application claiming to give the same benefit and decided to try it on Mark.

Mark said: “It was like flicking a switch. As soon as I put the earpiece in my ear and started using the app, I sounded perfectly normal again. It is a minor miracle and has given me my old self back again.”

Mark, who lives in Churchill, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 15 months ago.

He was forced to sell his transport café business in Bristol and take early retirement.

He said: “I have always been a quick-witted person – always ready to come in with a funny response or a joke, but my stammer was making me keep quiet because I couldn’t get my words out in time. Now I have my confidence back and speaking at my daughter’s wedding holds no fears for me now – I’ll be fine.”

Speech and language therapist Mike Richards said the phone application would only work on about a third of patients who suffer the same problem.

He said: “It was fantastic to be able to track down something so innovative and inexpensive that has changed my patient’s life so drastically.

“It has made me very proud to be a speech and language therapist at the hospital and of the difference we can make.”

Weston Area Health Trust, which runs Weston General Hospital, is taking part in a Giving Voice Campaign.

It is aimed at raising awareness of the role of speech and language therapy.

Mr Richards added: “Speech and language therapists make a significant contribution in tackling many challenges and adding quality to life.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

46 minutes ago

A historic village hotel could be torn down and replaced with a new ‘iconic’ building, its owners have revealed.

Read more

A date has been confirmed for a by-election in North Worle, following the death of councillor Derek Mead.

Read more

Fierce battles were fought in a Weston park on Saturday, where sword-wielding Vikings met one another in combat.

Read more
07:47

Travellers which have set up in Weston-super-Mare’s Ashcombe Park have been told they must vacate today (Wednesday).

Read more
10:00

Children from a Weston-super-Mare primary school visited the town’s flagship development this week, getting a sneak peak at the eagerly-anticipated Dolphin Square complex.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:36

Award-winning actress Michelle Terry has been announced as Shakespeare’s Globe’s new artistic director this week. But she is not the only acting talent to emerge from Weston-super-Mare. Here are some other famous names with links to the town...

Read more
Yesterday, 15:30

Police and council officers spent a day stopping traffic in Weston-super-Mare to check car seats at the start of the summer holidays – and 45 per cent were fitted wrongly.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Sixteen houses could be planned for a North Somerset village.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

The future of Cheddar Gorge will be revealed at a parish council meeting tonight (Tuesday).

Read more
Yesterday, 10:44

RNLI crews had to turn back to shore during a rescue mission due to strong winds yesterday evening (Monday) near Weston-super-Mare.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 16°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder