In May 1985, in Melbourne, I had tests that showed I would be a suitable candidate for a cochlear implant. I waited, hoping that it would become available in Brisbane, but in early 1987 I felt that I could no longer wait and spent two and a half months in Melbourne for the implant and follow up rehab sessions. In the afternoon of the “Switch on Session” I asked my husband to stop finger spelling and signing for me. I could understand him but still had a few problems with others for a while. Other memorable occasions for me were: The day I realized I could again hear all those lovely sounds from my environment. The day when I was no longer speaking with a harsh, flat, monotonous deafened voice. The day an old friend told me she didn’t recognize me. I had my life back in my face. I realized that I indeed had my life back.
Approximately five years ago I had a replacement implant in Brisbane. My eldest grandson had his implant about seven years ago in Persecond implant. My daughter also had her implant six years ago in Brisbane and I have just heard that a niece, who lives in Norway, is having her implant shortly. Ruth was thrilled to catch up with the early implantees at the 20, pictured above, with her certificate of 20 years with an implant.