A woman from the U.K. who lost her voice seven months ago has been told she might never speak again.

Alice Mitchell, 21, is believed to be suffering from a severe and rare form of laryngitis.

It has inflamed her voice box and left the muscle behind it swollen.

Mitchell, from Rayleigh, Essex, has been forced to take sick leave from her job as a swimming pool lifeguard because chlorinated water makes her worse.

“I am finding this all very hard," Mitchell wrote in an email. "Most people think I am joking, and they laugh.”

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