I have been deaf since I was 2 and a half. My mum tells me the story. I was ill for a couple of days, sleeping a hell of a lot and had a strong dislike of bright lights. I also had what my mum assumed to be a nappy rash, but was one of the symptoms of Meningitis. More specifically, meningoccocal septicaemia. Mum took me to the doctors which there, they urged my mum to take me straight to A+E. My brother, who is three years older than me, remembers being in the car with me in the back seat whilst mum frantically drove there. He recalls that he was feeling scared, scared of me drifting in and out of consciousness and confused to what was going on. Once we arrived at A+E, they put me in an ambulance and blue lighted it all the way to a hospital in London with my Dad following behind in his small red car. My mum recalls I was rushed straight into theatre, whilst Doctors and surgeons frantically try to save my life. Somebody came out and took my parents to one side and told them “brace yourself, I don’t think your daughter is going to make it”. I can only imagine what those words did to my parents. I know that when I become a parent, I will have a better understanding. But to everyone’s surprise, I was a fighter and I pulled through.
I met the man who saved my life in 2015, walking through my local hospital after an audiology appointment to have my yearly hearing test. I shook his hand and he complimented me on how well I’m doing. When we parted I had an overwhelming urge of emotion and burst into tears. I was too young to remember the whole ordeal, but maybe subconsciously it still affects me to this day.
I have a strong urge to write my story, my life so far as a deaf individual and a fighter. This book is going to touch upon numerous highs and lows and relevant life experiences I have gone through throughout my 18 years of deafness. Hopefully this book will enable people to gain insight into what it is like to be deaf, and the challenges one faces from this invisible “disability”.