Thanks to an operation which gave him a cochlear implant last year, Echuca’s Bradley McGillivray has been rediscovering a lot of forgotten sounds.MONIQUE PRESTON January 10, 2013 4:40am
Most of us would pay no attention to the sound of a sprinkler, but for Bradley McGillivray it is one of a range of sounds forming part of a new world for him.
Since receiving a cochlear implant late last year, the Echuca resident has been able to hear noises from objects which until now had been silent.
The flushing of the toilet and the ringing of a doorbell are also sounds he had not previously heard.
Bradley, 31, has been deaf in his right ear for most of his life.
It is not known if he was born that way, or if his hearing was affected when he was hit by a car at the age of one or two.
In July last year, Bradley lost the little hearing he had in his left ear.
Fortunately, Bradley was seen as a prime candidate for a cochlear implant as he had previously been able to hear and would not have to learn everything from scratch.
He also works at Safeway as a bakery assistant and holding a job was one of the reasons Bradley was put on a priority list for the operation that would not only restore his hearing, but give him more hearing than he previously had.
On November 7, he had the cochlear implant inserted at Melbourne’s Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.
He had to stay at the hospital for two nights and is now part-way through a process that will take about six months to complete.
Rather than overwhelming a cochlear implant recipient with a barrage of noises all at once, the implant is turned on in stages, with different sounds becoming audible each time.
Doing it this way means the patient’s brain is able to process noises more easily.
The initial noises that are introduced are mainly environmental ones.
‘‘I can hear horns, knocking on doors and the television,’’ Bradley said.
‘‘(When watching television) I can hear it clearly.’’
Since receiving the implant, Bradley said his world had become ‘‘pretty noisy’’.
Among the noises he has adapted to has been the sound of his own voice, which he said sounded robotic at first.
One of the strangest noises Bradley said he had heard was a baby crying on a train.
‘‘It was screaming,’’ he said.
As part of the ongoing process after the operation, Bradley had to travel to the hospital in Melbourne once a week initially, with the visits stretching to fortnightly and then further apart.
Bradley said one of the best things about having the implants was regaining his independence.
When he lost his hearing completely in July, the normal eight hours a week of help through Murray Human Services’ Outreach service had to increase greatly, he said.
MHS outreach support worker Debbie Tye has been to most of Bradley’s hospital appointments with him and has helped him through the process.
‘‘I couldn’t believe how quickly he lost his hearing. It just went like that,’’ she said.
‘‘Bradley lost a lot of his confidence when he lost his hearing.’’
Since having the operation, she said Bradley had gained much of this confidence back.
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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