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Hello everyone, hope you are all doing okay during these unusual times. Some of you may know me and some not, so let me introduce myself.

My name is Olivia Morton, and I am 15 years old and I’m living with this rare genetic disease called Usher Syndrome. I was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome at 13 and let's just say it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions, many highs and many lows but the best way to deal with this type of thing is to just take every day as you can! And most importantly NEVER GIVE UP!  So, there’s a little introduction about myself and now let’s get onto why I am writing this post. 

I have been on an incredible journey with the Molly Watt Trust, and I feel so privileged to have met Molly and her mum,  as a result of which I was chosen to be a part of an exciting project resulting in me being referred to Correct Hearing, audiologists based in Nottingham where I met a lovely audiologist called Sarah Vokes who assessed me and then fitted me with the most amazing hearing aids called Resound Linx Quattro. They are soooo good, they’ve helped me loads over the last few months especially with school and home schooling. As you may have notice from the title of this post, I am going to talk to you about how my hearing aids are helping me with school/home school learning. I am in Year 11 of school and that is the last year of proper school, so I am feeling all the emotions at the minute! Especially since it is my last year and instead of actually being at school, I'm doing school at home due to Covid.  Having to do online lessons through teams, brought me additional anxieties, I was very nervous that I wouldn’t be able to hear the teachers as much due to using my iPad and phone. However, thanks to my new Resound Linx Quattro’s, homeschooling has been amazing, I can hear the teachers really well during zoom meetings. I know straight away what the teachers want me to do. I can connect my new hearing aids to my phone or any other device through Bluetooth which is one of my favourite things, direct streaming! I’M SOOOO THANKFUL FOR THIS! All teachers and student’s voices stream straight into my ears and it feels like I'm back into the classrooms which is just incredible. Even if I don’t use Bluetooth, I can turn my hearing aids up and down using my Resound app on my phone, this is a massive help because if I feel like the teachers are talking quietly or loudly, I can turn my hearing aids up and down without any hassle. Thanks to these hearing aids, I have been able to learn at home effectively without any disadvantages. 

When I got my hearing aids, I also had the privileged of getting a radio mic which is what I get the teachers to wear when I’m at school, so I can hear them more than the students in the classroom and its terrific! In around December time in 2020, I had to do all my mocks and one of the subjects I choose was Spanish; I had to do a listening exam and at the time I was thinking OMG I'm going to fail because I do struggle with listening tasks especially when they’re in Spanish. However, thanks to my radio mic, the teacher was allowed to wear it and they spoke it out to me through the radio mic and I could hear everything the teacher said straight away. This was just amazing, and I couldn’t believe how much this radio mic helped! I am very grateful that I received both the hearing aids and the radio mic because it has made my life so much easier at school and during home school learning. 

I was also grateful to be awarded student of the month for November last year, which proves my determination in lockdown to keep my studies high. 

There we go, that’s my post about how my Resound Quattro hearing aids have helped me during my school hours.

I just want to say a massive thank you to the Molly Watt Watt Trust to GN Hearing and to Sarah at Correct Hearing.

Wednesday, 03 March 2021 11:45

My 1st year with Resound Linx Quattro - WOW!

 

 

I was chosen as part of a project run by Molly Watt Trust with the support and collaboration of GN Hearing and Sarah Vokes of Correct hearing in Nottingham. 

In February 2020 I was assessed and fitted with Resound Linx Quattro smart hearing aids, the gift of sound.

I’ve now been wearing these amazing devices for a year and in a word ‘Amazed’ at what they have given me. To start with I had a lot of learning to do hearing so many new sounds and frequencies my brain took a while to process everything and for the first 6 months or so I was like a baby learning how the world sounded again and constantly asking those around me what certain sounds were! I’ve also never had surround sound like this before its fascinating to me to be able hear something and pin point it exactly, for someone with tunnel vision this helps more than you’d realise and I feel so much safer for it too. Knowing what’s going on around me when I'm out and about keeping me aware and secure in my surroundings. 

I can mention the little things like I never knew my washing machine and tumble dryer beeped when they are done, its a high tone I could never hear before, although it took me a while to figure out that’s what it was as I was still learning what things sounded like, I can hear a tap dripping and a clock ticking, so much so I had to buy a new lounge clock as the ticking became quite troublesome so now I have a silent clock although the previous one I’d had for years without issue so shows how little I really heard!

Also much to my daughters annoyance I can hear her upstairs I can hear her singing and dancing away in her room totally oblivious to me downstairs but I love it as she won’t sing in front of me so we will keep that one quiet!  When I'm out in the streets or busy town centres I can hear traffic and people all around me I can hear the beep at the road crossings I can even hear someone far away calling my name to get my attention if they’ve spotted me as I’d miss them usually.

When I went back to see Sarah at Correct Hearing for a 6 month check and a few tweaks as I’d adapted more to the new sounds she ran a hearing test, I’d actually improved by a small but significant amount in my hearing for the first time ever in my life! Sarah explained this is due to my brain hearing so many new sounds it simply never had access to before so my range had improved and my brain had learned and helped my natural hearing, something I really did not expect and was quiet emotional at the fact so was my father who attended with me as we both knew my hearing was never going to improve or get better but it just showed that the right technology can in fact help in the right circumstances.

With the pandemic hitting its meant my life has changed as for us all.  Our ways of working have changed so much, for me it meant I had to rely on my phone and laptop a lot more so the bluetooth feature built into the Linx Quattro hearing aids has become an invaluable tool. I can hold phone calls without issue and also listen to webinars or videos directly as well as hold video meetings with not only work but friends and family meaning I was able to be fully inclusive throughout. Another perk is listening to podcasts something I never did as it was so inaccessible to me but now I listen daily without issue as I can just press play and it streams straight into my ears, the same for music but my daughter isn’t such a fan when I start singing out loud! 

A year with these amazing gifts have been life changing, they have changed the way I work and live daily from not having to worry about my batteries dying to being able to answer a call and hear crisp clear sounds something I never had before and now I'm sure I take for granted but gladly so as someone born deaf with limited vision due to Usher Syndrome its meant I'm almost on a level playing field in the world now rather than always being left behind or missing out because its too much trouble to others to adapt to make others included, I can now take control of that and ensure I'm involved and included thanks to these hearing aids. That is something when growing up with analogue hearing aids I never thought I would have or even be proud of being deaf or wearing hearing aids, this technology has given me pride and confidence in my hearing loss and I'm certainly proud these days to show off these amazing hearing aids.

Once again huge thanks again to GN Hearing, Correct Hearing Sarah Vokes and of course The Molly Watt Trust.

 

 

 

 

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