Connect with John

  • Lives in: Oxford
  • Deafness cause: Deafened during World War II
  • System used: Nucleus 6

John Stuart

My dog became my best friend. Why? Because she couldn't speak and I could talk to her without worrying how I was going to deal with a reply I couldn't hear!

John Stuart's time in the army left him with diminished hearing, and then with increasing age, his hearing declined completely. In his 40's he was fitted with a hearing aid, but he still had many problems over the next decade and had to learn to lip read. His enjoyment of music ended, his car journeys were silent and he was devastated not to hear the sounds of grandchildren as they arrived.

Having explored the possibility of a cochlear implant and learning that it meant the loss of any natural hearing, John thought he'd try new digital aids, but these didn't have the desired effect and he began to retreat from life, avoiding people and losing any sense of humour.

In 2004 at the age of 72, John was implanted and only when he started to hear sounds again did he realise how isolated he had become. Shared life with his wife Veronica and his family returned and although John says his ears are now only for hanging the microphone on, he can enjoy conversations and life once again. John's only regret is that he didn't decide to have the implant five years earlier when it was first justified by the clinical evidence. His advice to anybody hesitating would be 'go for it'!

John feels very indebted to his cochlear implant unit at the Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. He now wants to help others with their decisions about cochlear implants and has become a Cochlear Advocate.

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