Auditory Implant Service

“It is absolutely fantastic to be able to communicate and do things on my own”

John’s Story

John Lassman, 56, from Oakley in Basingstoke, started to lose his hearing in 1981 and about six years later was diagnosed being profoundly deaf. He used hearing aids, sometimes two at a time but they did not help and he stopped using them 10 years ago. From then he relied solely on lip reading and the occasional finger spelling from his wife Coralie and their children.

The implant process began when he was referred to the SOECIC in 2004 by the Ear, Nose and Throat team at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital. He undertook 14 months of intensive testing and upon completion he was found to be suitable for a cochlear implant and was operated on 22 April 2005.

John says, “I then had a six-week wait before I had the initial tuning, which meant I couldn’t hear anything but as I was profoundly deaf it didn’t affect me as much as someone who had partial hearing. Then on 6 June I was finally ‘switched on’ and I haven’t looked back since. I was very lucky and the implant worked from the start. I had no problems with speech and I could follow what the audiologist and my wife were saying”.

“When a person goes deaf after 30 years of hearing you start to withdraw from life, but since the operation and switch-on I have gained enormous self confidence and have really come out of my shell. I now interact with strangers and can use the telephone which I hadn’t done since the late 1980s. I also listen to music and I can plug into an MP3 player and enjoy all the music I did before I went deaf. After being reliant on my wife for so many things, it is absolutely fantastic to be able to communicate and do things on my own, such as going shopping,” he says.

“The Centre and its staff are amazing and I offer my complete and utter thanks for everything they have done for me. The care and attention have been fantastic and although I only go back about once a year for my check up and tuning, I still feel part of a very close-knit family. I can’t say enough good things about the impact they have had on my life and other people in similar situations.”