A woman who was told she would never eat properly again after having her tongue removed defied expectations to write a recipe book - and tastes dishes with her tongue's remaining 5mm.

Laura Marston, 41, from Borehamwood, noticed she had a sore on her tongue in October 2018 but put it down to burning her mouth on a piece of toast.

But when her sister, Eve Macmillan, 37, a restaurant supervisor, spotted Laura had a sore blister on her tongue during a night out she urged her sister to get it checked out.

Laura went to her GP who referred her to Barnet Hospital and she was diagnosed with stage 4 tongue cancer in May the following year.

Three days later, Laura was told by a specialist at University College Hospital, London, that she would need her entire tongue removed.

They explained that she would need a permanent feeding and breathing tube and that she only had a 30 per cent chance of survival.

Devastated Laura had 9.5cm of her tongue removed, leaving just 5mm on August 13 2019 at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London.

Borehamwood Times: Laura in hospital. Credit: SWNSLaura in hospital. Credit: SWNS

She also had a tracheostomy to help her breathe and skin taken from her left arm to reconstruct her tongue.

Laura then had skin taken from her abdomen to reconstruct her arm.

After three days in intensive care, Laura remarkably began to teach herself how to swallow and speak by introducing liquids into her diet and singing the alphabet every day.

Borehamwood Times: Credit: SWNSCredit: SWNS

Now Laura has defied medics expectations by eating normally, talking on the phone with no limitations and has even written a recipe book to help other tongue cancer patients with their recovery.

Laura, an HR director said: "When they told me I would never be able to speak again, I walked to the station to get home, looked at the tracks and thought I wanted to end it all right there and then.

"I couldn’t bear the thought of going through it all. But I'm a determined person and I vowed to get my voice back and taste food again.

"I love cooking and eating - so I'm thrilled to have been able to put together a recipe book."

Borehamwood Times: Credit: SWNSCredit: SWNS

It's called called Eating with confidence to help other tongue cancer sufferers.

Laura said: "It’s recipes I used to help me get my taste back.

"My husband was eating pizza for dinner one and I was on another smoothie - it was horrible.

"So I wondered what would happen if I blended pepperoni in my tomato soup. So I worked out how to make a pepperoni pizza soup. It was amazing, it hit the spot.

"Then I did things like roast potatoes and as my food experiences progressed I tried out more. Then I moved onto smaller meals.

"Now I eat normally and I’m enjoying life to the fullest, and nothing holds me back."