Published March 06, 2011
BOLTON, England -- A British man who will lose his voice because of disease said Sunday that he is recording thousands of words so he can continue to read his son bedtime stories.
Laurence Brewer, from Bolton, northern England, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) three years ago and expects to lose his speech as his condition worsens.
But the 43-year-old wants to ensure his son, Stan, will hear his father's "authentic" voice, complete with his regional accent, when he has to speak through a synthesizer.
Brewer, a university researcher, will have to communicate using technology similar to that used by Prof. Stephen Hawking, the British physicist who also suffers from MND.
Brewer will record 1,600 sentences for a computer program that will break them up into individual sounds and then piece them back together again to form words under Brewer's control.
Brewer said his inspiration for the project was his 13-month-old son.
He said, "He is the key motivation for me to record my voice so that if my voice is lost, he can still hear what his dad sounds like. I might be able to read him bedtime stories; your voice is part of your identity. He can maybe also hear what I sound like when I am no longer here."