I was 2½ years old when I was first diagnosed with hearing loss. I am profoundly deaf so cannot hear a thing without relying on my two cochlear implants. As soon as I was diagnosed I went to early intervention at The Shepherd Centre and my life changed when I met the amazing Anne Fulcher.
I’m now 26 years old and work for Discovery Channel. I am very passionate about all things media and feel this has definitely been my favourite job to date. It’s such a good company to work for – a fun culture, plenty of benefits and they look after you well!
I absolutely love travelling and am about to go snowboarding in Aspen next month. My other hobbies include playing with my pug Oscar, going to the beach and socialising with friends and family on weekends.
Because of The Shepherd Centre, I have been able to attend mainstream school, play sport, go to university and get my dream job. Not only did I learn how to hear but more importantly how to speak!
I can’t imagine what my life would look like if I hadn’t gone to The Shepherd Centre. I think I would still be living at home and have little or no speech. I would have attended a special-needs school. I most definitely would have struggled at university where I wouldn’t have been able to hear properly in a noisy classroom and pick up everything that the lecturer was saying. Talking on a telephone at work would be almost impossible as well.
Without access to sound and early intervention there are so many things I wouldn’t have been able to do. Now I can go to nightclubs and talk with my friends, listen to music, socialise in big groups, hear people’s footsteps, hear wildlife (cicadas are extremely annoying, I switch off my implants for this!).
I am so thankful every day for the life that I have and this simply wouldn’t be possible without the help and support of The Shepherd Centre.