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She can’t hear her own accent when she speaks, but Butler said she can feel herself forming words differently. She talks about her daughter, Jamie, as a “twenty-VUN” year old. She said the accent has softened over time and was initially strongly “Transylvanian” sounding.

Every now and then, Butler’s daughter Cindy Miller, 36, calls her mom’s cell phone just to listen to the voicemail. Butler hasn’t changed it since the procedure.

“After all this time I like to hear it. I like to remember what it was. What my voice sounded like,” Butler said. “I don’t feel different inside at all. I’m the same old me I ever was.”

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Tami Abdollah can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/LATams