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Hearing restored for 100th patient.

A MAN who lost his hearing two years ago has become the 100th patient to have his hearing restored using a cochlear implant.

Gethin Williams, a 21-year-old chef from Cefn Glas, started to suffer from tinnitus before developing profound deafness.

He tried using ordinary hearing aids, but found he still wasn't able to hear and was referred to the cochlear implant team at the Princess of Wales Hospital to see if he was suitable for the device. Following the treatment , his hearing is now almost perfect.

He said: "Losing my hearing had a huge impact on my life. I turned into a hermit. I couldn't socialise with my friends, or do simple things like go out for a meal or to the cinema. If I did go anywhere, my mum had to come with me just in case anyone tried to talk to me. I couldn't work and I had to sell my car.

"Since having the implant, I can hear everything, I don't struggle at all. The difference is amazing, and I feel as though everything has gone back to normal.

"Within a few weeks of the implant I had a new job, and I've just bought a new car. Even simple things such as hearing how much something costs in a shop has helped to boost my confidence.

The team are absolutely fantastic and really supportive. I couldn't have asked them for more."

A cochlear implant is placed under the skin behind the ear, and uses a small electrode to connect it to the cochlea. When it picks up a noise or sound, it uses an electrical impulse to stimulate the cochlea to hear it. Alan Gibbon, an audiologist at the Princess of Wales Hospital, said: "It is fantastic to see how well Gethin is progressing, especially as it has only been a few months since his surgery. The level of success differs from patient to patient, and they will always be classed as having a hearing loss. However, all patients should be able to have a normal conversation."

The cochlear implant team at the Princess of Wales Hospital are one of only three in Wales and treat patients of all ages from Bridgend to Aberystwyth and some parts of Mid Wales.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 11, 2013
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