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Scott's Story

My name is Scott and I had a Cochlear Implant in May 2000 at age 2 years 3 months.  I was the first child in my town to have a Cochlea Implant as thirteen years ago implants were not heard of as much as they are today.  I was born hearing but at age 10 months I had a virus (similar to Meningitis) which left me profoundly deaf.

I don't remember how I felt before having the operation as I was only two years old. My mum tells me that only 2 hours after the operation I was racing up and down the ward with a snooker cue in hand playing and running around, so having the operation never bothered me and made my mum very happy to see me back to my normal self so soon after surgery.   I am really glad I had the implant as I can hear really well and I have normal speech.  If I just had hearing aids my speech would not be as good.  I think I am a good implant user as I can hear most sounds clearly.  When having an implant you are told not to use British Sign Language as you have to learn to listen but I've always used BSL to communicate with my deaf friends who only have hearing aids and use my implant to listen and talk to my hearing peers, family and friends who have implants. I adapted to the implant by listening as well as using BSL.

I don't really remember hearing for the first time after the implant as I was only two, now I am 16 but mum tells me it took about three weeks before turning round when hearing sounds and realising what sounds were, especially to turn when my name was called, which my mum says was 'amazing'.

Being a deaf young person is who I am so makes no difference to my life, I have the best of both worlds in having deaf as well as hearing friends and this is all thanks to having the opportunity of having an implant, if asked the question "if I could be hearing would I choose to be" I would say "no".

Having the implant has helped me immensely to interact better with my peers and mainly with family members as I am the only deaf person in our family. Having the implant at the age I did both my Nannas were able to communicate with me through spoken language as they were too old to use and learn another language as they were both in their 70's.

I went to a mainstream primary school which had a deaf base. I really enjoyed my years at primary school and went onto the feeder high school where I am now in Year 11. I am currently doing my mock exams in preparation for my main exams in May. I have just got a provisional place at College in Manchester where I am hoping to do a Btec Media Film Making Course as my ambition in life is to become the 'First Deaf Famous Film Director'.  I have a passion for film making and have made many short films with my deaf and hearing friends.

I have taken BSL level 1 and 2 sign language and have passed both so am now looking to do level 3 at college and am very proud of achieving sign at this level. I feel I need the sign language to communicate with my deaf friends who have not had an implant and with having the implant I am able to communicate socially through spoken language as well.

I go regularly to the Deaf Club in Manchester where I have made many friends and go on holidays with them once or twice a year which is mainly outdoor pursuit based activities.  I also go to the gym regularly at the Aquatics Centre in Manchester as having an implant doesn't hinder me in any way of doing all things that are normal everyday activities for anyone. If anything being deaf and having a cochlear implant has opened up more and varied opportunities and experiences for me than I would have had being a hearing person.

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