A profoundly deaf woman who had a life-changing cochlear implant operation is urging others with hearing loss to see how it could help them.
Molly Berry, of Marsworth, near Tring, first experienced hearing problems in her 20s, but despite undergoing an operation and receiving two strong hearing aids, life was still difficult.
By the time she reached her mid-50s, the mother-of-one found herself avoiding social situations which she had previously enjoyed because she could not hear.
She said: “I could manage one-to-one conversations but pubs and restaurants were hard because there was a lot of background noise. I became very isolated.”
Then one day, she started talking to a woman collecting in aid of Hearing Dogs For The Deaf, who told her all about her cochlear implant.
Molly, who lives on a narrowboat, said: “She told me it was wonderful and it had changed her life.”
After some research, Molly had the operation – which threads electrodes into the cochlear – in 2009 and has not looked back.
She said: “I could hear running water, birds singing, children playing. It was very emotional. I felt I could truly engage with the world again.”
> Today (Thursday, Febrary 25) is International Cochlear Implant Day. For more information, visit www.iwanttohear.com