Alan’s journey is inspiring others - Royal Institute for Deaf & Blind Children

Alan’s journey is inspiring others

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Alan’s journey is inspiring others

Alan Edwards has shared his experience of hearing loss on many occasions, in front of as many as 1,000 people. He’s engaging. He’s funny. And he’d like to share his story with you. 

A self-declared “science nerd”, Alan also loves to spend time in his workshop developing his wood-working craft. He wishes he played rugby union as well as former Wallaby George Gregan. Despite not being able to, he still loves to watch a match with his mates.

Alan and wife Jen have been married for 33 years and together they have two adult sons.

Alan and his wife Alan and his wife have been married for 33 years

When Alan’s hearing loss increased over time, he became distant and as a result, withdrew from society and, to some extent, his family.

“At times it was hard to connect with my son,” Alan says. “Due to the frequency of his voice when he was young, at times I couldn’t hear what he was saying.”

“It was an effort to have conversations and to work hard at trying to hear,” he says, which left him feeling isolated. “When things become isolating there is a tendency to withdraw. Initially, I thought it [hearing loss] was just something I had to deal with. I thought it was inevitable.”

Alan didn’t immediately pursue a cochlear implant because he never thought he would benefit from them. Subsequently, he persisted with hearing aids despite them becoming “physically painful”.

But hearing aids were not enough.

“If I was still wearing hearing aids I wouldn’t be working,” he says — and Alan loves his work.

Alan was desperate for a solution, which he found with a cochlear implant.

In 2017 he received his first cochlear implant after making an appointment with SCIC, an RIDBC service. “I couldn’t wait to get the second [implant] one done.” Just over 12 months later Alan was a bilateral recipient (two cochlear implants), something he describes as “just amazing”.

It is the support of RIDBC, and the comfort of knowing RIDBC is there for him that Alan truly values. This is personified by his close bond with RIDBC Audiologist, Nick Baulderstone.

“The positive mindset Alan has maintained during such a challenging journey has made him a joy to work with.” Says Nick. “The support Alan has provided to other recipients and his volunteer work at SCIC, an RIDBC service, is a testament to his character.”

Alan with his family Alan chatting with his family

Having experienced the benefits first-hand, Alan now advocates for cochlear implants as a hearing solution for people. If he can help just one person, he would be satisfied. That is why he wants to share his story with others.

A year after receiving his second implant, Alan hasn’t looked back.

“It is beyond measure the impact it has had on me.” Alan hopes that by sharing his story he too can have a positive impact on people experiencing hearing loss just like him.

For a comprehensive hearing test to determine if an implantable solution is right for you, contact the team at SCIC, an RIDBC service, on 1300 581 391 or info@ridbc.org.au. Fully bulk-billed appointments are available with a referral from an Audiologist or GP.

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