Posted by Pindrop Foundation on 23/08/2022 :: Blog Category Contributors
Nurse and mother of three, Josie Calcott has spent her professional and personal life caring for others.
Despite being profoundly deaf from the age of two after contracting chicken pox and relying on hearing aids and lip reading, I attended mainstream school before graduating from Nurses College.
Ten years ago, I struggled to hear with my hearing aids and was referred for a cochlear implant. I had my right ear implanted and continued to wear a hearing aid in my left ear. Although the government funds two cochlear implants for people under 19, adults over 19 only get one implant.
While I was grateful for the one implant enabling me to hear my children and understand speech without lip reading, it was still limiting.
Working at Tauranga Hospital, I still found communicating with colleagues and patients challenging. Taking notes in a bustling and noisy hospital setting was hard, and I struggled to separate single voices in crowds and locate where voices were coming from.
Audiologists told me a second cochlear implant would significantly improve my hearing. I could hear my patients, my kids and everyone else without worrying about which side they were speaking to - without reading lips.
My friends were amazing and raised the $40,000 needed for my second cochlear implant. They did movie nights, a night at the Races and ran the Tauranga Marathon, to name a few of the fundraising activities.
Getting the 2nd cochlear implant was more than the icing on the cake for me; it made me whole again.
It’s opened up the rest of the world to me. If you shut one eye then open it…. that’s the difference it made. It gives me surround sound, and I can tell where the sound is coming from. I can tell how far away it is. I no longer need to have someone on the right side of me. I simply hear so much better.
When one goes flat now, it’s like being busting for the toilet- busting to put the sound back on...to be back on two ears again. My confidence and career have taken off, and I am now in a management role. Something I would have never considered until I had my second CI.
I only wish everyone who needs two could get them. Hearing with two ears, like seeing with two eyes, makes the world of difference.