Brian - implanted at age 68

Year implanted: 2013
Age when implanted: 68 years
Age when piece written: 73 years
Cause of hearing loss: Partially related to infections and middle ear problems, progressive

Brian’s story

Prior to having a cochlear implant I was trying to get by on one hearing aid. I was dependent on family for doing phone calls etc for me, which was quite wearing for them. I had lost my independence. I had already made my first step to do something about it and applied for a hearing dog. My assistance dog Isaac gave me the confidence when I was out and about. But at my 69 years of age time wasn’t on my side and it was time that was lost that you can’t get back.

I was given the opportunity to have an implant and to me this was something I couldn’t refuse. What could I lose? I had plenty to gain. I never ever thought that I would be able to hear again, that in itself was a miracle. I was admitted to hospital on 29/10/2013 and discharged on 31/10/2013.

The switch-on was mind blowing; Jen, my audiologist, I could never understand. But at switch-on I could hear her and I couldn’t stop smiling and saying “Jen I can hear you!”

I had to attend appointments for tuning sessions and also speech sessions with Carolyn. I now have 90% hearing in my right ear and it is all down to the cochlear implant and the team working with Mr Banerjee.

The hardest thing about having an implant is turning up to have it fitted, but on the day you are looked after so well.

I can hear so much and now I have my independence back and there is great satisfaction when I can do things like make phone calls, hear the birds sing, hear Isaac, my hearing dog drinking his water. But being able to hear my granddaughter is the best.

I now have completely come out of my shell and have a life, how could I not want an implant? As I live on my own I feel so much more comfortable and safe.​