Posted by Pindrop Foundation :: Blog Category Contributors
In response to Lyn Polwart's letter sent at the end of last year, a meeting was set up with Annette King in her Wellington office on Thursday 18 February.
Lyn, Karel and I flew down and introduced ourselves before Lyn got straight to the point of requesting further funding to reduce our waiting list.
Lyn checked that King knew the difference between a hearing aid and the cochlear implant. She said she did. King brought up the fact that so many years ago many deaf people were opposed to this surgery as they were saying being deaf was part of who they are. How times have changed.
Lyn and Karel talked about the difference it has made to our lives. Annette asked a few questions, one of them was were any of us were born deaf.
I spoke up and briefly told my story of losing my hearing at the age of 2 and having to get by using my lip reading. Annette said she wishes she could lip read. It was clear from the beginning of the meeting that she was on our side as she was agreeing with us all the way and comparing it with other surgeries and disabilities.
Annette asked how many people were currently waiting and she also asked what costs were involved. She asked if the surgery was painful. We all described it as being very straightforward, an overnight stay and mild discomfort post op, i.e a headache. We described the worst part is waiting 3 or so weeks for it to heal before getting switched on.
King stated it would make sense to get rid of that waiting list of 65 people and then to be able to maintain the numbers. She agreed having a "capped number" put on these surgeries was not fair.
We feel the meeting was successful as she rounded the conversation off saying she will take her case to the ministry and see what she can do.
We asked for a quick selfie on departing and she quickly got her assistant to take the photo and wanted one on her phone also "to put on Facebook" she said.
It was a pleasure to meet Annette King and now we wait for further response as she stated she will get back to Lyn if she has further questions or has any result.