I am of Ngā Puhi descent, and I received my cochlear implant in 2015. It changed my life.
Life was tough before I received my implant because I had isolated myself from my friends and family. I thought I was useless and had cut myself off from everyone. I spent a lot of time in the bush and my friends were the animals – they didn’t get frustrated with me.
The implant has resulted in a big improvement in my hearing but the social damage the hearing loss caused will take much longer to recover from. I’ve missed out on so much but I’m slowly getting back in touch with my family. It’s going to take time.
Things are a bit better now. I say a ‘bit’ because I’m never going to get back all those relationships with those people I pushed away because I felt like I was letting them down. But I am back playing touch rugby and have even completed a computer course since having the implant. Life is getting better day-by-day.