LITTLE ROCK, AR - Emily Adams was doing nothing unusual, nothing reckless when she lost her ability to speak.
The teenager from Pocahontas was helping her father last month with yardwork when a rock the size of a softball soared out of a lawnmower and struck Emily in the throat and chin.
The impact of the rock fractured Emily's larynx, making it nearly impossible for the teen to speak or breathe. At Arkansas Children's Hospital, she underwent a six-hour surgery and received a tracheotomy, where a tube is inserted in the throat to help with breathing.
Today, her 14th birthday, Emily returned to the hospital for a microlaryngoscopy...surgery on the vocal cords. Emily can't talk yet, but doctors are hopeful she may someday regain use of her voice. It likely won't sound the same, but her parents remain optimistic that their daughter will someday speak again.
But the randomness of the injury is still hard to grasp for the family.