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Will Julie Andrews sing again?

music Updated: Oct 23, 2009 20:14 IST

Agencies
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Eleven years Julie Andrewsafter a botched throat operation that robbed Julie Andrews of her voice, there's new hope for the Sound of Music star.

The singer/actress is expected to be one of the first patients in the world to have man-made tissue injected into her voice box, reports Telegraph.co.uk.

The Oscar winner has been unable to sing ever since surgery to remove non-cancerous nodules on her vocal chords in 1997. The operation ruined her voice and she sued the New York surgeons and won nearly a million dollars in damages for the operation.

According to the National Enquirer, she has struggled to regain her voice ever since and is struggling to come to terms with losing her vocals forever.

"My voice is pretty much non-existent, but what can you do? Life has a way of throwing things at you that you never expected," the Daily Express quoted Andrews as telling a close pal. But the thought of never being able to sing again is causing Andrews serious heartache.

"Julie is trying to put on the best face possible, but it's killing her that she can no longer sing like she used to. It must be agony," a source told the tabloid. "She loves to work and dreads retirement and wishes she could still use her God-given talent," the source added.

But if Professor Robert Langer, a tissue engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with voice specialist Dr Steven Zeitels are successful, Andrews can put her retirement plans on hold.

The duo have developed a technique that involves removing scar tissue from the vocal cords and then injecting a gel called polyethylene glycol to replace it, reports Telegraph.co.uk

While the man-made substance specially designed to mimic the elasticity of the natural vocal chord without being rejected by the body, has been successfully tested on animals, it hasn't been tested on humans yet.

"The substance is designed to vibrate and behave just like a vocal chord," Telegraph.co.uk quoted Professor Langer as saying. 'The animal trials have been very promising."