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December 25, 2004

You're Pregnant - and You're Not Deaf Any More

From: The Scotsman - Edinburgh,Scotland,UK - Dec 25, 2004

By Lesley Richardson, PA

A care assistant who mysteriously went deaf almost nine months ago has regained her hearing after discovering she is pregnant, she said today.

Doctors could offer Emma Hassell, 21, no reason for why she went deaf suddenly in April.

She had gone to the bathroom to take a shower when her ears "popped" and her world went silent.

Ms Hassell had just proposed to her boyfriend Kevin Love, 23, on February 29 in keeping with the leap year tradition of the female asking the male, and the couple became engaged.

They had suffered a miscarriage in 2002 and Ms Hassell was told she might not be able to conceive again.

Doctors said her loss of hearing could be psychological and she was treated by a hypnotherapist who practised Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

Ms Hassell, from West End, Southampton, said: "I was just about to have a shower and then it went muffled and very faint and then it went completely.

"At first it just felt like my ears had popped but it didn't pop clear – it popped and went completely.

"The doctors couldn't explain it. They couldn't find anything for it so they put it down to psychological reasons.

"We were just left to sort it out, to try and figure it out ourselves."

She had around eight sessions of EFT which is an emotional form of acupuncture using fingertips instead of needles to stimulate energy points around the body.

Then, just as suddenly as her hearing disappeared, it returned – along with the news that she was pregnant – on November 1.

"I found out I was pregnant on the day my hearing came back.

"I did a home test in the morning and it came out positive. I was shocked for a while – it was more of a miracle because there was less chance of me having children because we had a miscarriage.

"We were also more excited because of the miscarriage and the way it happened – finding out I was pregnant in the morning and then a couple of hours later my hearing coming back."

She added: "I was still looking forward to Christmas. I wondered what it was going to be like without hearing all the Christmas music.

"It didn't stop me from living, but I have a clearer view of what I can do now looking forward to things, being a bit more excited about the future.

"It's the little things you take for granted like hearing Kevin wish me a merry Christmas."

Ms Hassell, who works as a care assistant at the Fleming House residential home in Eastleigh, was watching television when her hearing returned and she called Mr Love to hear his voice again.

"He was as over the moon as I was and just as shocked as I was.

"It was just so unexpected – although the hope was there. I hadn't given up hope but was feeling less like it would return."

She added: "It's very, very strange. They are never going to get to the bottom of it.

"Nobody knows exactly what it was. It was a psychological problem. It could have been anything because I didn't think it was the miscarriage. I didn't go through any trauma.

"It is strange even now, not knowing why it happened and trying to move on with things."