KOLN-KGIN anchor Vanessa Flowers has been off the air for several months with a paralyzed right vocal cord. The noon and 5 p.m. anchor tells the Lincoln Journal Star about her problems with her voice, which began in January with no warning:
“I was going on the 5 o’clock news, and my voice … I didn’t feel bad,” she remembered. “There was nothing leading up to to it. There were no signs or symptoms. I wasn’t coughing or sneezing — no signs of any problems.
“But about five minutes before we hit the air, I started practicing a little and wondered ‘What’s going on?’” The weather guys, she said, had a bet as to whether or not she would make it through the newscast.
“I was, like, I’m going to get this,” she recalled. “Sure enough, by the end of the newscast my voice was gone, and the next day you couldn’t understand a word I said. I couldn’t talk at all.”
Flowers, who is being treated at University of Nebraska Medical Center, is hopeful that her voice will return. In the meantime, she has been producing and writing at the Lincoln duopoly.
“My heart goes out to her,” KOLN VP-GM Susan Ramsett said. “I understand that losing her voice has been both scary and frustrating for Vanessa, as it would be for any anchor. I admire her courage and appreciate her willingness to assist behind the scenes, including producing, writing and reporting.”