My husband Christopher Robertson was born with a hole in his lungs where his food pipe went through his lungs, and died a number of times on the operating table, so is very lucky to be here. As a result of this, he is deaf, and has been a Cochlear Implant user for 14 years now. Unfortunately a year and a half ago, Chris Cochlear implant had starting to play up… the usual bubbly friendly outgoing guy, had started to stop hearing properly… he had to keep getting people to repeat themselves, and could not hear friends, family and colleagues like he used to…
We went to Queen Elizabeth Birmingham Hospital to see what the problem is, because sometimes Cochlear implant users require their implant to be updated or re-programmed as the programmes can go funny, however this didn’t help Chris’ situation… Birmingham Hospital have been fabulous, and even got a member of the Cochlear Implant team from Australia out to test Chris’ implant and find out what problems he had, because they too have never experienced the problems Chris was facing. It was heart breaking watching him trying to understand speech and failing with simple words being played loudly over a speaker…. Just seeing my usually bubbly happy Husband’s face being confused, and looking so down when he cannot achieve a simple thing such as hearing, which we all take too much for granted.
Cochlear came out from Australia and tested the implant, with the conclusion verbally that the implant is failing, and he only has ½ the working electrodes inside his implant working, which hasn’t helped him at all unfortunately (it seemed like a quick fix, and any fix would’ve been greatly received however it just did not work). Cochlear said it was “common sense” that after 10 years the implant is no longer under warranty so anything that goes wrong cannot be fixed… My question to them was, how can you put a timescale on a life-long sense such as hearing?? However, they were quite blunt with us, just saying it’s a mechanical piece of equipment and these things can happen… They came to a decision to not do anything about Chris’ failing implant, and to leave him until his life becomes completely “silent” and he cannot hear at all, before they replace the faulty internal implant!!!
Birmingham’s top Cochlear Specialist Claire Fielden has done a fantastic job at trying to get Cochlear to admit in writing that Chris implant is failing, and have appealed against their decision as she has known Chris since the very beginning of having his implant, and has seen him grow, progress, and even help out with projects for children’s hearing, wearing a children’s hearing programme inside his cochlear implant to help others… however after appealing, and several meetings with Cochlear and Birmingham Hospital, they came to the decision that unfortunately the NHS does not have enough funding to go ahead and give Chris a 2nd implant, and cannot get Cochlear to admit that Chris’ implant is failing so cannot get funding for them to fix this problem…
We were told the only way to get Chris to have a new functioning cochlear implant would be to pay privately for the operation to take place, which they have estimated would be £50,000 – a fee myself (an Insurance administrator) and my husband (a Health Records Clerk for NHS) cannot afford on our wages which are just above minimum wage I’m afraid to say. We have gone to many health care companies and insurances, but they just will not pay out for an “existing condition”. We are really at our witts end, and have been told about this fantastic cause by our family and about how public, can find some space in their hearts to give donations towards the cost of medical conditions/charities etc and have helped many many people achieve things they could not even dream about.
This is why I am here today, asking for every little donation that would help us to help my Husband hear again. It would make such a difference to his life and help him to hear, which most of us now a days take for granted and are lucky for the hearing we have, even myself who had a perforated eardrum can understand a bit of the pain he must be going through, and how depressing he must be feeling and down right now because at the moment there doesn’t seem to be a solution in sight.
So everyone, please find it in your heart to donate anything that you can please to help my lovely Husband hear properly again? We would be so grateful and so thankful and so lucky if we get any kind of donation to help us find a way of getting his hearing to be better again. Please please give if you can, we really appreciate your donation.
A huge thank you for your consideration, and a massive thank you if you have donated J