“Thank you Dr. “B” (I’m smiling). I appreciate your recommendations and explanations (and thanks for your comment in Webwhispers!) I had a talk with my Dad and he listened! I explained – as you explained to me – the importance of the AL, why it’s useful for long term use, and also very reliable as a backup and on and on. He agreed. If this is going to be an investment, we chose the TruTone. I’m still very much on the fence with the TEP and explained it to my Dad and Mom. They understood a bit more. I have 2 Speakeasy meetings to attend the first week in December. That’s when I will decide on whether or not to proceed with the TEP. I promised I wouldn’t rule it out. And my SLP is absolutely delighted I chose the TruTone. She’s also pushing for the TEP as well.
I’ll be getting the TruTone from a nearby company in 5-8 days and then I’ll be “going to town” with my SLP. Dr. B… thank you for your words of wisdom and advice. I appreciate them and you greatly, and I’m very thankful to you for some direction. I’m feeling more confident in my choice now — and I thank you!
I’ll keep you posted but I wanted to thank you. THANK YOU DR. B! I am wishing you a grand evening and many fabulous days. And surely, if traveling through or to Spokane…I will no doubt be in to visit. Many thanks and I’ll be talking to you soon!
Have a fabulous week!”
Professor Emeritus, Gonzaga Law School
“My name is John Maurice, longtime law professor, writer, and artist. My brain became completely scrambled as a result of a stroke. My thinking did not translate to my speaking and vice versa. It was discouraging and frustrating. I knew what I wanted to say but couldn’t say it. Sometimes I would unconsciously repeat what I heard. Sometimes I would attempt to talk using gestures high in the air or with my eyes closed. My love of easily speaking, reading and writing were challenged. Once a smooth lecturer I was changed after my stroke.
In 2014 my physician sent me to Dr. Brian Shute. Brian helped me recover my thinking and speaking. He had me do exercises over and over again. He was relentless and encouraging too. Brian said, “We have to keep working your brain, John.” Each day I worked a little more and got a little better. The process was retraining my brain. Brian constantly reminded me what must be done to benefit. All the while he kept me positive. Each day now I get on track with my brain. I still remember and work on things he taught me. Results: I do much better now. These days I talk to friends and travel. My brain does more of what I want it to do. I continue my artistic endeavors and enjoy life. I still have an office at the Law School and I enjoy talking with old students. Brian helped get me here. I appreciate the help that Brian gave me a lot. If you need brain help like this go to Brian. He is an expert who can make a tremendous difference.”
Don and Vin Bumpus
“Dear Dr. Shute
“Hi Brian, it’s Ellen Nessen. I was thinking thankful thoughts of you today especially when it comes to Evan and the Paradoxical Vocal Cord Dysfunction he once suffered from. Evan just did an Olympic Distance Triathlon on this smokey day and didn’t have ANY breathing troubles. He continues to use the tools you taught him and they really do the job. Thanks for your work that enables him to do what makes him happy!”
“I have been seeing Dr. Shute for speech therapy for some months. We’ve been working to improve mental processing speeds and mitigate a memory deficiency resulting from a serious traumatic brain injury. As a result of Dr. Shute’s expertise and methodology, I have experienced vast improvements in the problem areas. Dr. Shute is very accommodating, encouraging, friendly and will go the extra mile for you. I would highly recommend Dr. Shute if you are in need of speech therapy services.”
Dr. Victor Buksbazen and Mrs. Evelyn Buksbazen
“Dr. Shute is far more than a Speech Pathologist. He is an “encourager,” an innovator, and a friend. He knows all about the Servox and other artificial larynx devices. But it does not stop there. He can adjust, repair, and show you how to use them most effectively as well. If you have any speech problems or questions he is a person whose knowledge you can trust. Dr. Shute taught me how to speak using an artificial larynx 25 years ago and he remains a wonderful resource even to this day.”
Dr. Victor Buksbazen and Mrs. Evelyn Buksbazen
Brock L Roberts
Utah Valley, Utah
“I was in a very serious car accident that left me with a fairly significant traumatic brain injury. I was referred to Dr. Brian Shute’s very capable care. As he assessed my challenges he found issues that other medical professionals had not. They were seemingly little things but when they were addressed, they dramatically improved my quality of life. For example Dr. Shute found that I had muscles in my throat that had been injured. This caused me to often choke on water or food. I had an issue stuttering and would often lose conversations as I would visit with people. I also had a very hard time keeping a schedule. My brain would process an appointment at incorrect times entirely. He helped me with all of these issues. He wasn’t just a caring doctor, he was a genuine friend who was trying to help me get better. I am so grateful for the help and care that he provided me. He dramatically improved the quality of my life, which in turn has helped improve the quality of my life for my little family of 4 children. I never thought I’d be able to work again, and today I am the managing director of a health spa that helps athletes and individuals recover from chronic pain. So much thanks to Dr. Brian Shute.”
“After a stroke I had troubles speaking. Words would not move from my brain to my mouth and this was frustrating. I knew exactly what I wanted to say but the words would not come or they would come out jumbled or I would say a word I didn’t want to use. When people would speak it was hard for me to understand what they meant. I could not read books or write numbers and life was tough. I began to see Dr. Shute for aphasia therapy twice a week and immediate improvements also began. This has been wonderful because I didn’t know where to turn for help. I’m glad my doctor sent me to this man. Dr. Shute is also an energy worker and has provided Reiki after our speech therapy on occasion. This too has been wonderful and part of my improvement. I will say that if someone has had a stroke and can’t communicate Dr. Shute can help. If someone needs energy work he can help with this too. I know this from personal experience.”
“Dr. Brian Shute is my friend, my massage therapist, and one of my wellness mentors. He is a man of the purist integrity and he truly loves to learn. He initially took on massage therapy because it helped him in speech therapy. The more he learned the more it became apparent that his practice is healing for many conditions well beyond speech. As he learned, he shared new information with me. I have Psoriatic Arthritis and was previously diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rhuematica. I started getting weekly massages from Brian in April 2015.
He was correct. His therapy has been life-changing and has helped me to be able to do everyday things that I could not do for almost 2 years. I see medical doctors too and yes, there are prescriptions but clearly Brian’s treatments have been a necessary part of my health care. Brian Shute is also super professional by telling me what he is doing, educating, and helping me. I am truly blessed to have Brian as my friend and wellness mentor! Highly recommending Brian and his medical massage therapy is an understatement!”
Thank you again. Sad to say, but you are the first doctor from all 35 years being in America who cares and has helped me. Actually my brain surgeon is the same way. After surgery he saw me, then 6 months later he said that I do not need to see you for 2 years, unless you will have some problems. No pills, no medication, I was so pleased with Dr. Smythies. And I’m so pleased with you, Dr. Shute. You gave me a second life from spasmodic dysphonia. Thanks to my dear friend Ramona, I never would have known about you. I’m already setting the seeds for my plans and goals that I want to accomplish in future. I came in America with dreams. I always tell people that “Dreams come true,” and that a person just has to plan them and work it. You are the one whose given me tools; ones in my tool box. I’m going to polish and use them. Thank you again.”
Cathi Lamoreau, M.S., CCC
“When I first came to Spokane and was faced with my first laryngectomee, you were a fabulous resource and I couldn’t have helped my patients without you.”
“Dear Inland Speech Pathology,
When my husband’s voice aid broke in three pieces I thought no way can it be fixed. He is a mechanic and pretty hard on things in his work. Even worse he needs his voice aid talking to customers and me. With little hope of repair we sent it to you. We got it back today and he sounds even better than before. The speech aid looks and sounds brand new! We cannot believe the wonderful service you provide. Thank you for your fast help.”
“On June 23, 1994 my husband Sam was diagnosed with throat cancer. He had to have his larynx removed and breathed through a stoma in his neck. This was devastating not only for Sam, but also for myself and our two high school-aged children.
Sam was a real communicator to all of us and everybody he met. He just loved to talk. As a family we were afraid that he would never be able to converse again.
In August, Sam began speech therapy from a man named Brian Shute who was going to teach Sam to talk with an artificial larynx. Brian gave us hope that Sam would learn to talk again. I wondered if maybe Sam would shy away from this device — at 74 years of age it might not be an easy task to learn.
Sam and I went to Brian’s office two times a week at first; then just one time a week as time passed, always learning new techniques and new sounds. Brian at all times gave Sam lots of encouragement and was always very patient with him.
Brian would ask Sam how his week went and if he spoke to anybody new in his life and how they did understanding him. Sam talked to anybody he met… explaining to kids and adults how his artificial larynx worked. In fact, he would let kids try the device and warn them never to smoke.
Sam died April 14, 2005. We as a family will always be grateful to Brian for all the hard work he put towards Sam. Because of his dedication, Sam left this world knowing how to talk again.
I would recommend Brian Shute to anybody needing speech therapy.”
Cornelius, North Carolina
“Just wanted to let you know that my vocal cord surgery went well today, and that I’m now recuperating with an Rx for total voice rest for the next several days. Thanks so much for being there to help me obtain the very valuable voice amplifier to get me through my last class without straining my voice. I passed on your name and clinic to my voice therapist, and let her know how helpful you and Inland Speech Pathology have been. Thanks again for all your timely help!”
“I just received my second order of Sir Francis Trach covers and now have most of the colors. They are positively the most comfortable stoma covers I have ever used. They breathe easy, look terrific and wash up well too. I wear them every day and on the golf course. No complaints and a very happy customer. Thanks!”
Teri-Anne Cox, M.S., CCC-SLP
“Having collaborated and worked with Dr. Brian Shute in a variety of medical settings including hospital rehabilitation and private practice, I attest with confidence that any clients seeking communication services will successfully get their needs met when receiving therapy support from Dr. Shute.
Dr. Shute is a dedicated professional with over 25 years experience in the field of speech-language pathology. He is a valued member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and Washington Speech and Hearing Association. I was honored to celebrate his earning a doctorate degree years ago. He recently became a Nationally Board Certified Teacher working with exceptional needs children, a rare and rigorous achievement for speech-language pathologists. Dr. Shute is not only a clinical expert in the areas of laryngectomy, fluency, stroke, voice, and pediatric communication skills, but he has a genuine manner when relating to people, whether his personal clients, their family members, or professional colleagues. I fully recommend Dr. Brian Shute’s communication services; today, tomorrow, and in the future.”
“I am 81 years old, have had two heart attacks, three strokes, and five open-heart surgeries. I have taken therapies in Maine, Ephrata, Wenatchee, and Spokane. My last stroke left me with the inability to swallow or walk.
Brian Shute is far more qualified than I would have ever expected to find from a speech therapist. He had me swallowing after a month of having no swallow reflex and having no food the usual way. He presently has me eating a special diet using special swallowing techniques. Just as important, we have an excellent rapport.
I must admit that I can think of better predicaments to be in. But in the event that therapy is necessary, I would select Brian Shute to help me every time.”
Empire Life article, Spokesman Review story on laryngectomy rehabilitation.
“It is November 11 and Gunda Coy is sitting in a small room with Brian Shute, a Speech-Language Pathologist. Three weeks before, Coy had her larynx removed. Cancer. This 61 year-old woman, who loved to talk, sing, speak softly to children and older people, whose German accent was well known to the residents of Colfax, suddenly found herself silenced. No more words. This is Coy’s second speech therapy session with Shute. She feels nervous, tired from the rigors of the past month. First she found out she had cancer. Second, she underwent major surgery . And now she is beginning the slow, deliberate process of learning to speak again–artificially…
‘For 61 years you have been talking one way’ Shute tells Coy. ‘You have taken air in your lungs and pushed it out, vibrating your vocal cords.’ Now that you are a laryngectomee, this [speech] device is your tool.’ ‘Do you think that people will laugh at me?’ Coy asks. ‘They might. You talk in a different way,’ Shute says. ‘A certain amount of attention will be given you initially. Just be confident.’
November 22: Coy is back in Shute’s office. A month has passed since her surgery. Her voice with the speech device is much clearer now. Shute tells her to be a big mouth. Enunciate her words. How we say words with our mouth and tongue determine how the words sound, he says.
Shute is trying to teach her how to take a charge of air and speak by “burping” the air back out. Coy tries. Air and syllables eject from her mouth. She grabs the electronic voice aid and says: ‘That’s so embarrassing! My mother would say, ‘Shame on you!’ ‘No it’s music to my ears’ Shute says.
Christmas week: Coy walks into Shute’s office and presents him with some chocolate from Germany. Coy feels more at ease, especially with Shute, who has gently guided her through her twice-weekly speech therapy sessions. Coy even talks on the phone…”
“After having my vocal cords taken from cancer, Dr. Shute and my surgeon helped me speak again using a rubber valve that fits in my stoma. This tiny thing is called a tracheo-esophogeal-prosthesis and it has given me a second chance to speak. I thank Dr. Shute for teaching me how to use the valve, how to clean it, and how to get back into the groove of talking. I’ve got grandkids and a new voice that amazes all of us. I love it and I’m back! Appreciate your help.”
Elementary School Teacher
“I am a teacher and have known Dr. Shute as a speech-language pathologist for several years. Over time I have had the opportunity to witness the growth in several children he has seen. Although there are many examples, one boy especially comes to mind. This particular youngster is an autistic boy who at one time could hardly speak. When he did speak, his speech was soft, garbled, and made little sense. Sometimes he would make unusual noises and hand movements sitting by himself and not interacting with others. He could not face people or meet them with his eyes. When asked a question he typically could not understand or respond.
All of this has changed dramatically and a transformation has occurred with Dr. Shute’s help. Although his voice is getting louder, he is now able to introduce himself to others and interact in a group. He is able to ask and answer questions and tell me what he wants. He has developed a sense of humor and now jokes, laughs, and smiles. He is learning to read and write and has come out of a shell. This boy is a different person and I believe that Dr. Shute has played a huge role improving his daily communication skills, confidence, and ability to interact with others.
Besides the professional help that Dr. Shute provides, both kids and adults find him to be fun, genuine and pleasant. I highly recommend Dr. Shute as a speech-language pathologist who can help.”
Tammy M. Curry and Joyce E. Jorgensen
Fort Knox, Kentucky
Almost 25 years ago, my mother was diagnosed with throat cancer. The surgeon had to perform a laryngectomy so now she uses an electrolarynx or esophageal speech. Shortly after her surgery, she was sent to Brian for speech therapy. I can’t imagine talking all your life and then suddenly your voice box is removed and you have to learn to speak all over again… but in a different form.
Brian was fantastic! He worked with my mother to teach her to speak using her esophagus, as well as using an electronic device. To this day she still remembers her first word was “cupcake”. Speech therapy is very important because not being able to communicate on a day to day basis is very frustrating.
Once on the road to recovery our entire family started attending laryngectomy meetings, a support group provided through the cancer society. These were very helpful as we could be involved with other people who had similar surgeries and understood the everyday challenges. Brian was always involved with the group and available to find equipment or medical supplies we might need. He would repair the electrolarynx speech aids or have resources available to repair or purchase new ones. He continually went above and beyond to make sure everyone was comfortable and had whatever equipment or speech training necessary to live a normal life.
Brian establishes a trust with his patients and his education in speech therapy was what helped give my mother her voice back. To this day we still call on Brian if we have issues or need a resource for equipment repair. Recently my mother was ill and he brought his entire family to visit and give her encouragement. He has been a huge part of my mother’s healing process over the last 25 years. He has provided skills, confidence, equipment and continued moral support, giving her the tools needed to function day to day. We are very grateful for Brian and his family!!”
Tammy M. Curry and Joyce E Jorgensen
Testimonials and other correspondence viewed here have been reprinted with permission.