Lifewatch: Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - A rare virus robbed a little Georgia boy of his ability to speak normally.

Though singing Christmas carols may not seem like a big deal to most third graders, doctors say it's a miracle for Joey Finely.

The 8-year-old was unable to speak in a normal voice until about a year ago.

He has a condition called recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, a virus that gets into the cells of the voice box and it causes growths like warts.  The warts can obstruct a patient's airway.

Joey has endured 16 operations in the past four years to remove the growth that altered his voice.

Since, he has been working with a speech pathologist, and the endless sessions are paying off.  Joey's spending less time with his doctors and more time doing his new favorite thing - singing.