One of our young members recently wrote a speech for the Rotary Youth Speaks competition. Here are his words about his experience of being deaf and having a cochlear implant.

“A cochlear implant is life changing and can help deaf people of any age. You can have a cochlear implant if hearing aids are not suitable for you.
The modern cochlear implant was invented by Graeme Clark and the first person to have a cochlear implant was called Rod Saunders. He had his implant in 1978 in Australia.
There are currently approximately 12 thousand people in the UK using cochlear implants.
Around 650 adults and 500 children receive one each year.

This is my cochlear implant speech processor. It has a microphone – at the top of the implant – so the sound goes up the wire and into my cochlear in my head. It is quite small, but the first cochlear implants were massive and people had to carry their batteries in a box the size of a radio!

Thanks to the doctors and nurses who did my operation I can clearly speak to people. If I didn’t have my implant I wouldn’t be able to speak to anyone.

I had my cochlear implant at the age of three and it has made my life much easier and has changed my life in lots of ways.
I would like to say that if you ever meet anyone who is sad about having a deaf child. Don’t be sad. It’s not a bad thing being deaf and having an implant can really help.”