Generation Grit

Giving hope after losing voice

Crystal Goh had planned to go into music full-time - until she lost her voice to a rare neurological condition. But she has found another voice on behalf of vulnerable young people, helping them turn their life stories into music. Her story is part of a series on millennials who inspire us.

Singer-songwriter Crystal Goh lost her voice after being diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia. She later recovered and founded Diamonds on the Street, an initiative where she teaches vulnerable teenagers to turn their life experiences into song.
Ms Crystal Goh suffers from a rare neurological disorder called spasmodic dysphonia that sends muscles in her voice box into spasms.
Ms Crystal Goh suffers from a rare neurological disorder called spasmodic dysphonia that sends muscles in her voice box into spasms.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

The day is etched in her memory. Ms Crystal Goh woke up one morning in April 2011 and could not muster a decipherable word.

"It sounded like I was having a very bad sore throat. Like I was being strangled," she said. "People couldn't understand me when I spoke."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2018, with the headline 'Giving hope after losing voice'. Subscribe