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Hearing... but not as you know it

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Published on Oct 7, 2012

Touching documentary about Helen Willis who is totally deaf following a meningitis infection at the age of 2. She was one of the first in the UK to receive a cochlear implant, allowing her to hear the world around her albeit through impoverished sounds. Now she is flourishing at Oxford University, and despite difficulties in everyday tasks, she hopes to continue into research into the science of hearing.

Helen's story began in the early days of the cochlear implant technology. Surgical techniques have now changed such that stitches and hair shaving are no longer required, and technology has improved to such an extent that people who received cochlear implants more recently are now able to perceive sound much more accurately (with some children being able to sing in tune and acquire local accents). Helen also received her implant relatively late in life, and outcomes are much improved if the operation is performed earlier.

We hope that this will help people understand what it is like to have a cochlear implant, particularly for families affected by deafness. If you know anyone who may benefit from watching this documentary, please share this to them using the links above. We also hope that the documentary will encourage everyone with cochlear implant to pursue their dreams and not be demoralised when they are faced with obstacles because of their deafness.

For more information, please go to: http://www.earfoundation.org.uk/

Please note:
1) Simulations of the cochlear implant provided in the documentary are only an approximation, as it is very difficult to know what people actually hear.
2) Helen's cochlear implant is a Nucleus 22 device, manufactured by Cochlear UK.

Created for and by St John's College TV (SJCtv) Neither SJCtv nor any of the videos on this channel are officially endorsed by St John's College, Oxford.

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