Three Days After Eight Hour Surgery
Mike's surgery only shows on the outside but extensive work was done inside: palatectomy, partial pharyngectomy and a comprehensive radical left neck dissection. He also had a temporary tracheotomy and a feeding tube (PEG) put in place as well.
The surgery left him with a large hole where the soft palate was. He couldn't talk for the first week and communicated with a dry erase whiteboard. This would mean his voice sounded like someone with a cleft palate, which in effect he had now. He also had a problem drinking -- liquids would reflux up his nose.