SINGER-songwriter Sophie Garner is returning home to Bury St Edmunds on November 25 for a one-night-only performance after a traumatic year of rehab following an operation on her vocal chords.
Bury-born Sophie, who was the first ever person to perform at the O2 Arena in London, went under the knife in April 2010 to remove fibrous tissue from her left vocal cord after suffering from acid reflux for 15 years.
The operation left her unable to speak for a week and it took her three months to regain her singing voice. Now Sophie has started up a free advice service called VoxOp to help performers who are going through career-risking surgeries.
She said: “The acid had damaged the tissue and was effecting my voice so it had to be removed – it was a terrifying experience as my voice is everything to me.
“I was in the middle of recording my first solo album so it meant I had to take three months off work.
“But I have to say it was the best thing I have ever done, it has totally fixed everything. VoxOp is a free service I set up to support people also going through vocal operations. We have speakers come along to talk to us about vocal care and vocal treatment – we are even getting referals from doctors now.”
On November 8, Sophie will feature on Channel 4’s Food Hospital, where she learnt how to control her acid reflux through eating at more regular intervals and avoiding ‘trigger foods’.
She said: “The series is just groundbreaking as it shows you can help tremendously with anything from epilepsy to hair loss by knowing what and what not to eat.
“It has completely changed my life and has fixed the problem I had.
“I have never played the Hunter Club before and I am really excited to sing there. “There is always something great about playing your home town and you very rarely get to do it.”