My hearing journey
I’ve been profoundly deaf for roughly 16 years. I lost my husband to cancer and since the trauma I lost my hearing and it gradually got worse. I tried numerous hearing aids but all they did was make the sounds louder, though still muffled. I came to a dead end and I was in despair. I went for a private hearing test and my audiologist said there was nothing that could be done with the high-pitched hearing loss and that hearing aids wouldn’t help me. I cried. He showed me a cochlear implant on his PC and said this was my only option and that I would fit the criteria. The journey began following two years of appointments and assessments at Yorkshire Auditory Implant Service (YAIS) at Bradford Royal Infirmary. I was told I could have a cochlear implant. I had mixed feelings. I felt a mixture of happy, nervous, and even a little sad.
My life with an implant
Finally, I got my operation date at a private hospital. My surgeon chatted things through with me but I was still scared. Fortunately, everyone put me at ease. It was over in no time and I now hear clearly. I’m so happy with my processor that I named her Zara. I named her after a lady who I don’t know but who was another implant recipient who helped me all the way through supporting me and understanding. My journey continues but I hear so much clearer. I hear the birds and I hear my granddaughter say ‘I love you, nanna’ which is priceless. The technology is amazing and I feel so blessed. I now cannot live without my processor. She is on from morning till night when I have to re-charge her.
My role as a mentor
My role will help with any worries or anxiety you may have on the journey you are about to experience. I was the most worried person ever! I had feelings of frustration, there were times I broke down, I felt emotional anxiety. I hope I can help others through the process, to be less worried than I was. The long-term results are absolutely amazing! The technology, the audiologist, the surgeons and the nursing staff at Bradford, where I received treatment, are all amazing people. The outstanding technology resulting in my clear hearing makes me so happy and my confidence is much better.
My top tip
Life is for living and hearing is a big part of life that most people take for granted. Quality of life means so much so take the bull with the horns and go for it. You won’t regret it!