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42, (married to Mark) Auckland

I was born in Germany and lost my hearing in one ear due to chicken pox at 15 months. After immigrating to New Zealand with my family aged 13, my hearing suddenly got worse.

The hardest thing was not being able to hear conversations at family gatherings. Talking to 1-2 people at a time was manageable but if more people were involved it got too hard. It is a very isolating and lonely experience!

Hearing aids helped until in my early 20’s then there came a time I could no longer hear my mother’s high pitched house alarm! That was when I decided I was ready for a Cochlear Implant! I remember my first time back on the phone after switch on - I was talking to my grandmother in Germany and I could hear everything she said!! We both cried with joy!

I love music! In fact we as a family love watching “The Voice” and I feel blessed to be able to hear what others may take for granted!