The Hearing Clinic

103 year old gets cochlear implant

When 103-year-old Leslie Hodgson went to the hospital on his birthday, he told doctors that he had researched cochlear implants, and it was time for him to have one. 
Leslie, who is also registered blind, underwent the procedure to fit the electronic device in March at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough. The implant, which was inserted behind his ear, uses electrical stimulation to provide a sense of sound.The retired architect from Cumbria has no family and lost touch with friends after losing his hearing 10 years ago. He had communicated with friends via telephone but even that became too difficult.

Surgeon Noweed Ahmad, who fitted Leslie’s cochlear implant, said: “Leslie had been trapped in a cocoon of silence made worse by blindness. But this remarkable man has shown that you are never too old.”

Leslie’s audiologist, Ruth Cole said: “When an implant is first switched on it sounds very strange as it is an electrical stimulus and this is new information for the brain to make sense of. Leslie can now hear some environmental noises and speech sounds but it will take time for his hearing levels and the clarity to improve.”

Following the success of his hearing operation, Leslie has told surgeons that he’s keen to tackle his blindness. He said: “Next year I want stem cell treatment for my eyes.”

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