Hi I'm Georgina, I'm 20 years old, so it wasn't that long ago
that I was a teenager. I have bilateral implants. I had my first
implant at 4 and my second implant at 17. For my first implant my
parents decided to go ahead but for my second implant I had to
decide. I did discuss it with my friends and family but it was my
decision. There were several things I was worried about: the
operation, the recovery and whether my implant would be just as
beneficial as my first. I was apprehensive having the
operation but it turned out not be a big deal. Two years on from
having my second implant, it was the right decision for me, I've
found that having my second implant has allowed me to miss less
things said and these days I'm not as tired as I don't have to work
as hard to listen.
My second implant initially sounded rubbish. I couldn't
recognise sounds or words it was just noise at first. With
help from the implant team tweaking my map and speech therapy
exercises to practice it was soon useful. You get out what you put
in, so if you want to get plenty from your implant you have to put
plenty of effort in, listening and practicing - it soon becomes
I don't let being deaf stop me achieving my goals, in fact I
think it makes me unique but in a good way. Being deaf doesn't
define me; often it's not about your ears it's just about you. I've
always been upfront about my deafness and never been embarrassed.
If I'm embarrassed other people will be embarrassed and avoid me.
People are usually interested, so pick the right moment and explain
to them what it's like - they might have to make sure you are
looking at them, repeat things for you, wait if you need to change
your batteries. You will be surprised at how it soon it doesn't
matter at all and people accept those small things - they aren't
I'm currently at Manchester University studying Chemistry.
I'm living away from home for a year whilst I'm working at a
company on an industrial placement. The people I'm working
for haven't met an implanted person before and I think they
understand a lot more now about deafness and implants. It has been
great and they accept me for what I bring to the job, I'm enjoying
it and hope to do this kind of work when I finish my degree.
I've achieved what all my hearing friends have achieved and more
than some. It might be a bit harder but I think people appreciate
the extra effort you have put in and that has been a positive thing
I've played on football teams, fenced and I'm a qualified
lifeguard. I won a Young lifesaver of the year national award and
went to London to get my award. I was the only deaf person so
that makes it more special to me. I couldn't believe it when I won
the Graeme Clark Cochlear Scholarship in 2012, that was very
special and I think it's fabulous that Cochlear are recognising how
far young people can get with today's technology.
Work hard and enjoy the rewards if you want to be successful and
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