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Scuba/Snorkel Technology for Total Tracheotomy


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#1 dawnb

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 02:35 PM

We were down last week and had the opportunity to meet a man vacationing from the States who is a survivor of stage 4 throat cancer. He had his vocal cords, larnyx, pharnyx, trachea, etc. removed. He was diagnosed and had surgery 4 years ago, a few weeks after getting his Scuba certification. He must breathe and talk through a hole in his throat. He said all he can think about is getting back underwater, whether diving or snorkeling. He did do a snorkel for a few minutes holding his throat hole closed, and we all cheered when he showed us his wet mask! He is in good condition and mid 40's.

My question: is anyone aware of any equipment that would allow him to dive/snorkel again? Sticking the snorkel through the throat hole will not work, as he could aspirate water into his lungs. He needs to be totally sealed. He has communicated with a doctor in Spain who has offered to try to experiment, but just wondered if there was anything else anyone was aware of. He enjoyed the glass bottom boat tour, but it wasn't the same as being underwater.
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#2 Coz2wonder

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 05:59 PM

Scuba Tony is well respected, and skilled, I hope someone who knows him forwards this to him to give this gentleman a resolution.

He has fought, won the battle, now he needs a way to live the life after the struggle.

Thanks Dawn
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#3 divern2h20

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 06:12 PM

Dawn,
Try asking about this on scuba board .com there is a section for divers with disabilities.
Another option might be to call DAN [divers alert network]
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#4 dawnb

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 06:51 PM

Good ideas both! Thanks! I gave him this website address. Nice guy, was just so passionate about being underwater, when he said that's all he thinks about, we really would like to help. We would all probably be in the same mindset in the same situation.
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#5 sailsgal

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 09:04 AM

Maybe he could try the SNUBA or SEATREK tours? with the helmet he doesn;t need to breath thru a snorkel? just an idea and an option to be under the water..?
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#6 dawnb

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 09:11 PM

Another good rec, Sailsgal. Thanks!
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