Article via VIP Murfreesboro
By Sadie Fowler
Mike Short, Jr. is a 29-year-old musician from Ottsville, Pennsylvania who has been making his mark on Music City as he strives toward living out his dream. Though his degree is in agricultural business, which he studied at Middle Tennessee State University, Short is quick to say his true passion in life is his music, thus it’s no surprise his voice is exceptionally important to him.
Short works a full-time job at the Williamson Farmers CO-OP in Franklin, Tennessee in addition to the four to six shows on Broadway in Nashville each week. When he’s not working, singing, or writing songs he is usually hiding in the woods, hunting or chasing fish at the lake.
Music is at the center of Short’s core being, and so when it was discovered he had three polyps on one of his vocal chords, fear and worry would not even begin to describe the level of emotions Short was feeling. He was referred to MMC’s Dr. Andrew Celmer by his voice therapist Melissa Kirby to explore options in hopes of saving his voice — and his dream. Dr. Andrew Celmer is a Board-Certified practicing physician with MMC’s Otolaryngology (ENT) and Audiology department.
He told Dr. Celmer, “It hurt to talk, was hard to talk, and I’d lose my breath from talking alone.” Dr. Celmer recommended Short have surgery, and what followed was nothing short of miraculous from Short’s perspective.
“After the surgery, I did not have any pain at all,” he said. “None. I actually told Dr. Celmer that I wished there was a little discomfort because it would have helped me to remember not to talk for the first seven days after surgery.”
Short had his surgery on Feb. 25, 2019 and he was back to singing four-hour shows on April 26.
“To say I was scared when I first found out about my polyps would be an understatement,” Short said. “Terrified does not even come close. My voice is my life. Singing is my world. The thought of not being able to continue chasing this dream of mine was devasting.”
Short credits Dr. Celmer for reassuring him everything would be okay and for getting him back on the stage in no time.
“Dr. Celmer … he got me back on that stage,” Short said. “Now, every time I step on the stage, the first chord rings, and I start singing. I thank Dr. Celmer … ‘Thank you, Dr. Celmer. Thank you.’”
The Voice Center at MMC, which is the only one of its kind around this area, is a place for people like Short to go whenever an issue with their voice arises.
“Anyone can benefit from (The Voice Center at MMC), really,” Short said. “But, mainly those who make a living, or a large part of their living with their voice. Whether you are an educator, professional speaker, radio host, or vocalist like myself, Dr. Celmer, will get you back to work in as little time as possible.”
He described Dr. Celmer as being very thorough in diagnosing the problem and very compassionate in terms of reassuring Short that everything would go smoothly throughout the procedure and the time that followed.
“Also, he understood my schedule and was very flexible with me,” Short said. “He made himself readily available at all times for questions, and walked me through the process step-by-step. I knew from day one with Dr. Celmer that I would be in great hands. The best hands.”
There are so many great things to mention about Dr. Celmer that Short said it’s difficult to pick out just a few. What was most important to Short was that Dr. Celmer never made him feel like a patient.
“I was never a number to him,” Short said. “He took my career, and my vocal cords, and looked at them as if they were his own. When all was said and done he checked in on me multiple times. I never felt forgotten. On my last visit he assured me that if I ever had an issue, or felt that I needed a checkup, I was to call him and he would get me into his office as soon as possible.”
Short added that, in his opinion and through his experience, MMC is an all-around amazing clinic and facility. He says the faculty and staff, as a whole, were wonderful throughout his entire ordeal. He is beyond grateful.