A video is going viral showing a woman's reaction to her treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England. It made her break down in tears - of joy.
Joanne Milne had been born profoundly deaf but in her mid-20s started to loose her sight as well. Earlier this year Joanne was fitted with cochlear implants at the hospital which is one of 20 in the country performing the operation. Her mother videoed the moment they were turned on for the first time.
Ms Milne was fitted with the implants last month and faced an agonising wait after the operation before the device could be switched on and tested. The video, which has been viewed thousands of times on YouTube, shows a nurse saying the days of the week after the implants were switched on.http://www.independent.co.uk/...
"The switch-on was the most emotional and overwhelming experience of my life and I'm still in shock now. The first day everybody sounded robotic and I have to learn to recognise what these sounds are as I build a sound library in my brain," she told The Journal.
"Hearing things for the first time is so, so emotional, from the ping of a light switch to running water. I can't stop crying," she added.
I should add that I am well aware that cochlear implants are very contraversial in the Deaf community and many chose not to have the operation. From reports elsewhere I gather Joanne decided to have the implants when it became too difficult for her to lip read. Whatever that discussion, slip below the orange semi-circular canals but make sure you have a tissue handy.
Wiki gives the cost of such an operation in the USA as between $45,000 and $125,000. For Joanne, as a patient treated by the National Health Service, she paid nothing but for her was clearly priceless.
There are many thing wrong with the four Health Services in the UK (those for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are devolved to the local assembly or parliament) but the political discussions focus on the quality of treatment and how it is delivered, not on the mechanisms for collecting the cash for everyone to be covered. There are, however, multiple times more things right with the NHS. Having tears of joy at success and not of despair at the impossibility of paying a bill is one of them.