Professor Clark honoured
Man who helped 50,000 people hear to be honoured by Royal Society of Medicine.
Professor Graeme Clark, the man who helped 50,000 people to hear, many for the first time, is to receive an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Society of Medicine on Tuesday, July 15 in London.
The Fellowship is only given to those who have ‘eminently distinguished’ themselves in the service of medicine and science. Names of Honorary Fellows include Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud and Louis Pasteur.
Professor Clark’s pioneering work changed the life of Pollyanna, a two year old girl living in Crashalton Beeches, Surrey. Pollyanna was born deaf and her parents were devastated. They despaired of her ever living a normal life. Now, thanks to her Cochlear implant, her mum says,"We never imagined that Polly would be able to do the things that other children do every day of their lives. However, with her new hearing it is now expected that she’ll be able to go to mainstream school!”
It’s a similar story for three year old Elizabeth from Tadworth, Surrey. Elizabeth was born deaf but after the Cochlear implant her mum says,“Now she is running around with the other kids, playing and shouting with them all!”
Professor Clark, who is based at the University of Melbourne in Australia, first started research into the potential of an electronically implantable hearing device in 1967. He was inspired to take on his life’s work by his father, whose deafness had a profound effect on Professor Clark’s early life.
The work of Professor Clark’s university department led to the first multi-channel “bionic ear” being switched on in 1978 and to the first Nucleus Cochlear implant in 1982. Its development is now regarded as part of medical research history