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Life sounds great for OAP Marlene.

THE constant whirring of the washing machine may be enough to drive most of us halfway to insanity.

But for 65-year-old Marlene O'Kane, the noise from her domestic appliances is music to her ears.

It is the first time the Frankley resident has been able to hear properly in 20 years after having a cochlear implant fitted in her right ear.

"For years, all I could hear was bangs," Marlene said. "I never heard the washing machine, the microwave, the breadmaker, anything like that.

"These are things you take for granted, but I don't remember the last time I heard them, certainly years."

Other more beautiful noises, like the birds in her garden, have also come forward since the procedure at Selly Oak Hospital.

"My hearing was so bad before that I was lipreading, but I am so much more confident now and feel a different person," Marlene added.

The team who fitted the implant are the last to make the move to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital and will now work under the name Queen Elizabeth Hospital Audiology Centre.

New facilities include soundproof rooms and a specialised hearing implant programme.

Dr Huw Cooper, consultant clinical scientist for the audiology department, said: "The new department will help us to deliver the best possible care to our patients. We have brought with us the expertise built up over many years at Selly Oak Hospital."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Dec 26, 2012
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