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April 3, 2006

I Waited 40 Years To Hear My Kids

From: Glasgow Daily Record - Glasgow,Scotland,UK - Apr 3, 2006

A MUM heard her children's voices for the first time after an operation allowed her to hear after 40 years.

Susan Matthews, 41, entered the world of sound following a cochlear implant.

The electronic device finally allowed her to hear her name.

Susan, who was born deaf, said: "I had never heard my name, nor recognised when my children called 'mum'.

"People used to tap me on the shoulder when they wanted my attention as I lip-read. All that has changed now.

"When the implant was turned on, one of the sounds that was used to test it was a baby crying. I'd never even heard my children cry."

Susan, of Leeds, said the first time she heard her children say "mum" was one of the happiest days of her life.

She added: "I jumped up in amazement. I have always wanted to hear my own children calling me mum

"It is fantastic and it will make my children's lives so much easier."

Daughter Sophie, 10, said: "To get mum's attention before, we had to stamp on the floor or touch her. Now she can hear us calling her name. It's brilliant."

Her son Ben, 13, said: "Mum says she can hear us fighting now, so she's tempted to take the hearing aid out!"

Doctors are gradually turning up the implant's volume to improve Susan's hearing.

She is hoping to raise £5000 for the Ear Trust's Listening for Life appeal to build a specialist centre in Bradford.

© 2006 Glasgow Daily Record