IM this article to a friend!

February 27, 2003

Jennifer delights in sound of rainfall

From: Dubbo Daily Liberal, Australia - 27 Feb 2003

Thursday, 27 February 2003

Last week's rain was music to the ears of the region's farmers but its impact on the window of a Sydney hearing clinic had special significance to a young Mendooran schoolgirl.

For the first time in 13-year-old Jennifer Ashford's life she could hear it.

Profoundly deaf from birth, Jennifer received a cochlear implant in December and has been making regular trips back to Sydney for fine-tuning.

While waiting in the hearing clinic at Gladesville last Friday, Jennifer's sister looked out the window at the rain, turned to Jennifer and said, "Can you hear it?"

"Yes," Jennifer replied. "Yes I can."

For 13 years Jennifer had gone without hearing the everyday sounds around her and it is those inconsequential sounds that she seems to notice most.

"I can hear the water running in the bathroom and the clock ticking on my bedroom wall," she said.

"I was lying in bed the other night and could hear something and called out to Mum.

"She came in and said what is it?

"I said I can hear something and Mum listened quietly, then she smiled and said, it's the clock."

Jennifer has a long way to go before her implant is fine-tuned and she becomes used to hearing and discerning people's voices but her progress in the past two months has delighted her teachers.

Hearing support teacher Veronica Bengough said Jennifer's progress had been excellent, which is due in part to the fantastic support she has had from her community and sponsors.

"Apart from the excellent assistance she has received from my co-hearing support teacher Lisa Lee, Jennifer has been supported by the Talbragar Lions Club, Quota Club and Delta Euro Car Hire for travel assistance to Sydney," Ms Bengough said.

But the last word belonged to Jennifer, who thanked everyone for helping her to hear.

"Thank you to everyone who helped me, it is really good to hear my family and friends," she said.

© Copyright 2000 by Rural Press Ltd