Sue was born with normal hearing, but at the age of five, was diagnosed with progressive idiopathic sensory neural bilateral hearing loss. She was profoundly deaf by the age of twelve. For the next 38 years Sue wore bilateral hearing aids, using advance lip-reading skills and body language techniques to communicate.
A chance meeting with Prof Clark (inventor of the cochlear implant) and Prof Wallace (UoW) in 2003 encouraged her to do something about her hearing. In 2004 Sue underwent her first cochlear implant under the skilful hand of Professor Bill Gibson and her second implant in 2006, becoming the 22nd bilateral implant in NSW. For Sue, success of her cochlear implants has been a personal celebration of a new life.
In 2005 Sue commenced BA (Population Health), gaining a graduate position upon completion, latter commencing her current studies; Masters of Health Management and Leadership at UoW.
Voluntarily, Sue founded the Illawarra Cochlear Implant Support Group, is a member of CAN (Cochlear Awareness Network), CICADA (Cochlear Implant Club and ADvisory Association) supports SCIC (Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre) and for the past two years has continued to assist with research at Cochlear Australia head office (Macquarie University) on a fortnightly basis. Sue has also achieved a number of awards and scholarships for her work including Healthy Cities Award, Cochlear ‘Hearo’ Award, and the UoW Chancellor Award for Volunteering and Community Engagement.
The Cochlear Implant Program has enabled Sue to merge from a silent world into a world full of colour, action and life. It has opened new doors and opportunities that Sue never believed could be possible or achievable.
Watch Sue’s TEDx Talk on Youtube.
If you can’t access Youtube – Watch on YOUKU