September 23, 2015 was a big day for our family. It was my daughters birthday and she was gifted with a miracle for her little miracle. Our new grandson, was born with severe hearing deficiency and recently had a cochlear implant in both ears. Switch on day was September 23 …my daughter’s birthday.
To witness a child’s reaction to hearing real sounds for the first time in his young life is a profoundly emotional experience, wonderful beyond belief and a priceless memory. The procedure was supported by Hear and Say, one of the leading paediatric Auditory-Verbal and Implantable Technologies (including cochlear implants) organisations in the world, assisting children who are deaf to hear, listen and speak.
It took quite a while for the emotion of the event to eventually subside, only to be replaced by melancholy reflection. My sober reaction was …how we take ‘normal’ for granted. We see, we hear, we communicate …all normal stuff for which we should be grateful, but nevertheless… often take for granted. But life’s realities for some, has an absence of normality.
In 2006, David was a student at the Nambour TAFE contemporary music course where I was a guest lecturer. After my presentation, the bell went and everyone bolted for the door except David, who offered to assist with my gear and walk with me to my car. He had more questions for me. I happily agreed, however as he bumped into a doorway I realised he couldn’t see. Over the years David pursued his passion for music and has built a successful entertainment business Hostile Entertainment. He is a remarkable young man who lost his primary vision in his teens and has overcome his disability with courage and determination, aided by acute listening skills.
In last months Bull-e-tin I described how your Unexpected Hero finds you when pathways in life attempt to connect. My hero was my 50 year old vintage Fender guitar. My pathway was music.
My grandson’s Unexpected Hero is Cochlear implant technology supported by a wonderful organisation, Hear and Say, and his devoted family. His pathway is a normal life with equal opportunity to everyone else.
I asked David recently if he had an Unexpected Hero is in his life. Not surprisingly, his reply was his EARS. He hears things he never heard before. David hears and retains every word that is spoken because he is not distracted by the combination of sight and sound, the very things others take for granted. David has taught me the art of listening. We hear what we want to hear, and retain only portions of what is spoken because of the visual distraction going on around us.
We all learn from each others experience which is why I write Bull-e-tins and books. To share stories that help others and perhaps change lives.
I would like to learn from you. Do you have an Unexpected Hero in your life…an experience, an object, a person, an event …that has changed your life?
Here is an example. My friend Colin has a niche business that is going gangbusters. Colin is the iPad Man and tutors seniors with iPad lessons. The iPad is his Unexpected Hero.
What’s yours? Please email me ….email@example.com