A woman who was forced to have half of her tongue removed can still speak and eat after surgeons rebuilt the missing portion with leg tissue, the Daily Mail reported.

Sue Unsworth, 52, of Thrope Marriott, Norfolk in England, had a cancerous tumor on her tongue, and doctors told her the only way she could make a full recovery would be if they severed the tongue in half.

The eight-hour surgery at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital included taking tissue and muscle from Unsworth’s leg to sew up her tongue.

“My speech has returned by about 85 percent and the doctors said I am making really good progress,” Unsworth told the newspaper.

However, Unsworth said she eats soft foods and she has not had the courage to look at her new tongue in the mirror.

“It will take a while for me to get used to,” she said.

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