Watch: How Tipping Point helped a woman with motor neurone disease save her voice
Ben Shephard has shared his delight after a woman got her voice back thanks to an appearance on his show Tipping Point.
Helen Whitelaw appeared on the ITV game show two years ago but has since lost her voice after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND).
The 76-year-old told STV that the diagnosis was “devastating” for her family, adding: “I wanted people to know what I was saying, and I did not want to sound like a machine.”
Whitelaw’s voice had deteriorated too much to use it to make a communication aid, but it turned out her Tipping Point appearance could be used.
Engineers were able to listen to her voice on the show and used audio recordings to help them reconstruct it.
Shephard and Whitelaw were reunited for a video call on Good Morning Britain, and the presenter said it was “so lovely” to see the former contestant.
Whitelaw then typed something into a computer, and her voice was heard saying: “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Shephard was clearly thrilled and replied: “That’s amazing and that’s you, that’s you talking as well Helen.
"That is fabulous.”
Viewers were touched by the moving segment.
Helen was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year and her speech deteriorated rapidly. But thanks to her appearance on Tipping Point in 2019 they were able to use audio recordings to reconstruct her voice.@benshephard | @CharlotteHawkns pic.twitter.com/2rREIcc88T
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) April 15, 2021
“@benshephard what a lovely thing to do for Helen Whitelaw who was on @TippingPointITV a few years ago but was diagnosed with MND last year. I'm sure your video call to her gave her a real boost," said one person on Twitter.
Another posted: "@GMB story this morning about Helen Whitelaw gaining her voice back through Tipping Point is just wonderful! Thinking out of the box to give dignity and respect through the power of technology."
According to the NHS, MND is "an uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves" and "causes weakness that gets worse over time".
Watch: Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall spice up their relationship during cooking therapy