David’s Story

Following call up to National Service on 19th April 1967, I sustained hearing damage in mid-January 1969 due to an explosion whilst on patrol in South Vietnam. Fortunately, after my commitment to National service ended in 1969, I was able to return to my former role as a bank teller with the Bank of New South Wales… I had to cease work at age 46 years, due to my severe deafness and other service related injuries.

My forced retirement meant all of a sudden I became socially isolated and at times became the target of intolerant people’s comments and supposedly funny jokes and/or misunderstandings….

By early 2009 my hearing in both ears (left still the worst) was very poor but not completely gone… Communication, if any was by yelling in my right ear and/or writing notes. Tricia became my interpreter and frankly, if she had left me, I would have understood why! I had to drop out of my various voluntary and committee roles as an advocate for Veteran’s Affairs pensions.

During August 2010, my wife Tricia sought out Dr Ben Wallwork, an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) surgeon at Greenslopes Private Hospital… [I was assessed] for a Cochlear implant. As part of the Cochlear eligibility assessment process, I was tested by audiologist Michelle Nicholls at Neurosensory. Finally it was determined that I was eligible for the operation and [I received the] magic Cochlear Ear. I had a few days in hospital and then had to wait to turn it on.

Michelle from Neurosensory, turned on the Cochlear implant, and after several hours of her magical work I COULD HEAR………. For the first time in many years, I am even getting used to the normal life sounds, birds, telephone and strangely enough hearing the sounds of going to the toilet. I now understand my old bush banking customer Jim Lyon’s of Binnaway NSW who used to say, “You going to the toilet… must be like dancing…without music.”