Monday, June 8, 2015

Dad with motor neurone disease creates 'voice bank' for his children


A 39-year-old father of two has recorded 400 sentences so that his daughters remember his voice when he loses the power of speech to the degenerative disease

A dad-of-two has recorded his voice so his daughters can hear him talk when Motor Neurone Disease robs him of his speech. In an effort to ensure his daughters would remember his voice, devoted dad Jason Liversidge read out 400 sentences to create a voice bank for when he loses his speech. The 39-year-old was diagnosed with the muscle-wasting disease in August 2013, and so his daughters Lilly, three, and Poppy, two, dont have to listen to a synthetic voice he has recorded himself speaking.
Jason Liversidge with his wife Elizabeth and children Lilly, aged three (L), and Poppy, two Photo: Caters
A father of two from East Yorkshire has recorded himself speaking over 400 sentences so that his daughters will recognise his voice when his speech is eventually taken away by motor neurone disease.
Former council worker Jason Liversidge, 39, from Hull, was diagnosed in summer 2013 with the degenerative illness, a rare condition that progressively damages parts of the nervous system, and which causes the progressive loss of bodily functions such as mobility, communication, swallowing and breathing.
After Mr Liversidge's wife Elizabeth spotted a tweet from an Edinburgh clinic, he travelled to Scotland earlier this month to record hundreds of phrases into a voice bank.
The phrases will then be installed into a special computer. When his condition becomes more severe, the computer can be controlled by eye movements, allowing him to communicate with his family and the outside world.
Mr Liversidge told the Mirror: Keeping a line of communication open is so important to me. The girls are too young now and don’t understand. But I want them to remember my voice and not something robotic.”
He added that his daughters - Lilly, three, and Poppy, two - have made him determined to fight the disease. "It’s a reason to carry on. Lilly asked me the other day why I couldn’t run. I just said ‘dad is broke’.
“I could sit there and get frustrated at the fact it is stopping me doing stuff but then I’m going to get frustrated about all of it. I make the most of what I can do.”
According to the NHS, motor neurone disease is a rare condition that affects around two in every 100,000 people in the UK each year. There are about 5,000 people living with the condition in the UK at any one time.