Tipping point contestant with motor neurone disease gets her voice back as scientists reconstruct audio from the show

16 April 2021, 10:59 | Updated: 16 April 2021, 11:14

Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

Former Tipping Point contestant Helen Whitelaw appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about her experience.

A woman who lost her speech after developing motor neurone disease (MND), has had it reconstructed using sounds from her appearance on Tipping Point.

Helen Whitehall appeared on Thursday's Good Morning Britain with her daughter, where she opened up about the disease and thanked host Ben Shephard for helping her speak again.

Scottish Helen was a contestant on Tipping Point back in 2019, where she managed to take home an impressive £3,000.

After she was diagnosed with MND in May 2020 and her speech rapidly deteriorated, scientists used tapes of the recording to help reconstruct her voice.

Helen appeared on Tipping Point in 2019
Helen appeared on Tipping Point in 2019. Picture: ITV

GMB co-host Charlotte Hawkins revealed Helen had wanted to record her voice, but was unable to do it.

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Before Ben then revealed: “Thanks to an appearance on Tipping Point in 2019, engineers were able to use audio recordings to reconstruct her voice and give her back the power of speech.”

Typing into her communication aid, Helen said: "My frustration has vanished and now I can have satisfactory conversations with everyone."

She added: “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Ben Shephard spoke to Helen from the set of Tipping Point
Ben Shephard spoke to Helen from the set of Tipping Point. Picture: ITV

Ben said it was 'amazing' to hear Helen’s voice again, telling her: "It's magical.

"It was lovely to see you both yesterday and be reminded of what a ball of energy your mum was."

And viewers at home were quick to comment on the heartwarming moment, with one writing on Twitter: "#GMB I'm not crying...I've just got something in my eye…"

A second said: "MND is such a cruel disease, this is an inspiring and lovely story. To use the ladies synthesised voice, from when she appeared on Tipping point, to communicate is amazing!"

While a third added: "This story is so heart warming. Wow! Take care and so pleased that you have your voice back. Wonderful interview."

What is motor neurone disease?

According to the NHS website, motor neurone disease is a condition that is caused by a problem with cells in the brain and nerves, and these cells gradually stop working over time.

Eventually people with the disease become unable to talk, move and finally, breathe.

There is currently no cure and the exact causes are unclear.

Find out more information here.

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