Archuleta family: “…he wanted to keep trying no matter what.”


This is a message sent from David’s family to David’s old Official Street Team message board a while back to answer questions from concerned friends and fans as to why David hadn’t ever released a CD after Star Search and also why his performances were limited for an extended period of time from when David was about 13 until he was almost 15 due to the vocal chord problems he was having. Thought some of you might be interested.

When David was on Star Search for a 2nd year in 2004, he arrived in Hollywood at the beginning of the show season with a pretty bad chest cold/bronchitis. He seemed to be getting better though and dealt well with the flem and congestion part of the cold and was able to sing reasonably well for the first 3 weeks he was on the show. However, after the 3rd week or so, the cold symptoms seemed to have cleared up but David was having more and more difficulty hitting higher notes and would fatigue after very short periods of singing.

At first we thought it might just be part of what all young boys go through as they started puberty, but the severity of the symptoms seemed like there was something else wrong. 3 more weeks passed and it was clear that David was having more serious problems now as it was affecting his speaking voice as well. At that point we even considered having David just drop out of the competition as it was now tremendously difficult for him to sing, but he didn’t want to just leave, he wanted to keep trying no matter what.

During the 7th week on the show, we finally went to a highly recommended ENT specialist in Beverly Hills who examined David and said that he didn’t see any flem or cold/bronchitis related side effects, so he would need to do a video scope of David’s vocal chords by running a camera up his nasal cavity and down into his throat so he could see if he could determine further what exactly the problem might be. Once completed, he took everyone into a room to watch the video and sat down with David, his dad and another specialist who he called in due to the unusual findings he noticed in the preview of the video. He commented that the video of the vocal chords definitely showed a physical problem that was not usually seen in young kids. The video was made of the vocal chords vibrating as David spoke as well as briefly singing, and in both instances only one side of David’s vocal chords responded properly. The other side barely moved and when it did, it was not at all in sync with the other one like it was supposed to be. This caused the one side to not have any resistance which made it impossible for the healthy chord to vibrate properly when speaking or sustaining a note when singing. The ENT specialist explained that this was possibly due to a viral infection settling on his chords, and then entered the one side of his chords resulting in “partial paralysis”.

He further explained that this condition is usually only seen in very rare cases, and then usually only in very elderly patients and that he had never seen it before in young kids. Furthermore, he explained that unfortunately there was no medication that he could recommended to help with this problem, that the only solutions were either surgery or possibly “vocal therapy” which means working with a “vocal therapist” doctor and that over time it could hopefully help retrain the problematic vocal chord to help get it to start responding again. This is similar to what happens to a stroke victim when they lose part of their muscle coordination and have to go through therapy to “relearn” how to use their muscles after a stroke attack. There was no guarantee that the vocal therapy would help, but it seemed like the best thing to try at that time in order not to possibly destroy David’s ability to sing in the future.

After serious consideration, we decided to just have faith and try the vocal therapy and hope that it with time would help heal David’s condition. David continued to sing periodically when asked, but had to restrict his singing to only certain songs and usually just performing one song at a time due to the fatigue factor. Over the next year and a half or so, his voice seemed to gradually start working better. About a year ago, David seemed to be regaining his strength and endurance sufficiently that he could start performing again and was able to work up to singing 45-60 minutes at a time without showing any of the prior problems of fatigue or discomfort. At this point, he seems to be feeling great and his voice seems to be better than ever. We feel very fortunate and blessed that David has been able to work through this difficult situation and seems to be ready now to continue sharing his musical talent once again after a difficult last few years.


~ by archuletafanscene on November 24, 2008.

13 Responses to “Archuleta family: “…he wanted to keep trying no matter what.””

  1. Wow. David had to deal with some tough issues with his singing abiity at such an early age. I am so thankful he had such an amazing family, friends and therapy coaches/doctors to help guide David towards a recovery that has turned him into the most amazing singers. David generally says, “things happen for a reason”, and I believe there must have been a reason for David to have to deal with something so major at a young age, perhaps to be who is today…very grateful to be where he is at and continues to show that gratitude and I know it will be something that will never change in him. A lot of people would simply give up and not try to see if they could fix the problem as it is much easier. David faced some major obstacles with his voice and that would be hard for someone who has such a passion and love for singing the way David has for it. Way to go David. You impress me ever day.

  2. I’m speechless right now… Just… wow.

  3. This is why I always said David is a gift from God. God made David one of his angels with the voice of an angel for the world to see. David is enbeded in my heart and soul forever and nothing will ever change that. I never felt like this about any singer in my life. So I say it has to be God because I don’t know what else it could be.

  4. I really, really feel for David. Poor baby, he really must have been suffering because bronchitis is very nasty. If left untreated, all sorts of problems can stem from it. Well like David says, things happen for a reason. Maybe the Lord put this bump on the road to prepare him for much bigger bumps and obstacles that were to come his way in the future.

    If David having vocal chord paralysis was a blessing, then we are trully blessed by this wonderfu human being. We are the lucky ones. We get to hear his ANGELIC, HEAVENLY voice take us where we have NEVER been before!! That is the only way to put it. Oh My Gosh!! Love that boy!!!

  5. Well it seems that David remembered that video at the doctors of his vocal chords very well. I’m glad that you posted this, it really gives more insight into what exactly it meant.

  6. Thanks for this post. After everything he went through, David’s voice is a beautiful gift. I believe that David is truly a gift from God. PEOPLE EN ESPANOL wrote an article about David and there was a picture with a quote from Jeff Archuleta that says that the doctor told them that somebody up there wants David to sing because medically he should not be able to do it. David is a blessing!

    He has touched and changed so many people’s lives; with his heavenly voice and amazing personality. He has been such an inspiration. David is so young and he has accomplished so much! he is such a good role model to people of all ages. His determination to keep working to accomplish his goals and dreams is admirable. I think David is so brave! he has so much courage. I’m 42 years old and I’m learning so much from him. I truly respect him and admire him so much.

  7. I couldn’t say it any better than the folks who have posted here, just that I’m thankful that David is able to share his incredible gifts with us. We are certainly the fortunate ones as the recipients of those gifts.

  8. I truly believe with all of my heart that David is a gift from God.

  9. As Marc said – cannot put it any better than the previous posts – David was dealt something quite difficult at a young age but he did not let that deter him. Experiences like this build character and I know that he is unlikely to ever take anything for granted. David really should not be able to sing like he does with this situation – but not only does he – he does so with such a unique voice that touches the soul.

    David — it definetly “Works For Me”.

  10. He is a young man nearing his 18th birthday. But he is an old soul. I mean this in the sense of the things he has dealt with at such a young age. He brings so much emotion to his music because he too has been disappointed in life. Just listen to him sing “Be Still My Soul” and you can tell he has known difficulties. But he worked hard…and never gave aup…and thanks to the grace of God he sings like no one else on the planet!

    Wonderful article. It raelly explained it better than any other article I have ever seen.

  11. I’m so happy that David overcome his illness ưithout having a dangerous surgery. Thank God for sending David Archuleta to our world.

    Dear David,
    You are God’s masterpiece, created in His image and by His devine desire.
    He said, “Faith”, and gave you the strength to move mountains.
    He said, “Hope”, and shaped the desires of your heart.
    He said, “Love”, and made you the amazing person you are.
    from Huong, Vietnam

  12. Thanks for sharing David’s younger story with his fans. He never fails to amaze me and I truly believe that he is a gift of God. David Archuleta- a living angel with beautiful voice and inspiring soul.

  13. David is a amazing and very special boy. Thanks for the article.

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