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A deaf local musician has described the moment he was able to hear again as a ‘sensory eureka moment’ – and it’s all thanks to Dorset HealthCare.
David Marsh, 68, from Parkstone, gradually lost his hearing over a 15 year period, but the Trust’s audiology department teamed up with the Southampton Auditory Implant Service to give him a new lease of life.
He’s been fitted with a revolutionary cochlear implant which works in tandem with a hearing aid to not only amplify every day sound, but also enable him to stream music directly through them.
The two devices share signals with each other, so when one ear has a clear listening advantage – when David takes a phone call, for example - they instantly send the better sound to the other device, so the sound is clear in both ears.
Being a keen musician, this has transformed his life, and means he can enjoy his biggest passion once again.
David, who DJs and teaches music, said: “The best way of describing the impact of my cochlear implant is to say it was a sensory eureka moment – sounds that were lost to me were re-discovered and became audible again.”
His hearing problems forced him to take early retirement from his job as Head of Physical Education at the Bishop of Winchester Academy in Bournemouth, where he worked for 30 years.
And when working as a DJ, he became reliant on the reactions of clubbers as to whether the music was sounding okay or not.
“I think it is safe to say I have been socially, environmentally and musically reborn,” David added.
A cochlear implant is a small device which uses small electrical currents to stimulate nerves in the ear.
Clinical Scientist and Deputy Paediatric Lead for the Trust, Emma Hooper, said: “It has been a real pleasure to see the difference the implant has made to David’s life.
“By working closely with the Southampton Auditory Implant Service, we have been able to use our expertise to come up with an idea that has restored David’s hearing to around 90%, which has transformed his life.”
Roberta Buhagier is Principle Clinical Scientist at the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service. She said: “I am so delighted with the outcome and the difference it has made to David’s life, especially with him being such a passionate and talented musician.
“This is also a great example of great clinical practice and joint working between ourselves and Dorset HealthCare, and to see such a positive outcome is so rewarding.”