Auditory Implant Service

“Having cochlear implants has allowed me to realise my dream of studying to become a doctor”

Genevieve Khoury

Genevieve Khoury

Genevieve Khoury, a patient of the University of Southampton’s Auditory Implant Service, has won a national award that recognises outstanding students who have conquered their hearing loss.

Genevieve, 20 from Fareham, beat contenders from across the UK to win the Cochlear UK & Ireland Graeme Clark Scholarship Award. She was presented with the award this week (6 July) by The Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Cathie McEwing, at a ceremony in Southampton.

On being presented with the award, Genevieve said: “I am delighted and extremely grateful to be rewarded the Graeme Clark Scholarship. Having cochlear implants has opened up a world of opportunities for me and has allowed me to fulfil my dream of studying medicine.  I am very grateful to have had continuous help and support from all my friends, teachers, family and the staff at the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service.”

Genevieve, who is in her second year at University of Liverpool Medical School, struggled at school due to her profound deafness. The watershed that changed everything in her life happened in July 2011 when she received her first cochlear implant at the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service. She said: “Previously, my hearing of high frequency sounds was limited and, as a result, my speech and vocabulary were often behind my school year group. I was able to finally hear birds sing and the ticking of the clock – which I had always assumed was a figure of speech.

07-07-16-84“However, my hearing loss is progressive, and I started to notice that the hearing in my left ear was diminishing. I realised I needed another operation, and luckily, this decision was supported by my audiologist and ENT surgeon.

“Having a second cochlear implant in June 2015 resulted in significant improvement in my ability to join group discussions and follow lectures. Having this treatment has allowed me to achieve my life-long passion of following a medical career.

“My hearing is improving all the time. I am more confident than I used to be – I was really shy – I feel like my hearing has improved so much. I now have a really good circle of friends and feel more supported and more outgoing and do things I didn’t do before. I could never hear some consonants like “s” and “t” and this had a big impact – I couldn’t follow a conversation very well and I was isolated – I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to. Now it’s so much easier to contribute and to join in.”

Dr Carl Verschuur, Director of the Auditory Implant Service, said: “For over 25 years, the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service has been enabling people with severe to profound deafness to access the world of sound and all that comes with that.  Geneveve should be hugely proud of her achievements and she is a great example of how cochlear implantation transforms lives and opens up opportunities in education, work and leisure for implant users.”

07-07-16-154

From left: Consultant ENT Surgeon Michael Pringle, Associate Director Sarie Cross, Scholarship winner Genevieve Khoury and Director of USAIS, Dr Carl Verschuur