A devoted Carrickfergus carer is overcoming hearing problems with help from a healthcare group initiative.
Thomas Curran was recently fitted with a free pair of much-needed hearing aids in the Carrickfergus branch of Hidden Hearing through its ‘GiveBack’ scheme.
Audiologists nominate deserving recipients across the company’s 80 clinics with over €100,000 worth of the high-tech devices already handed out in the programme.
“Thomas being able to hear properly means so much to both of us,” said his wife Rhona, who is confined to a wheelchair as she sufferers from several serious ailments including COPD and diabetes.
Thomas cares for Rhona 24/7 but his hearing problems were proving difficult for the family.
He explains: “When Rhona called out for help and I was in a different room or in the back garden, it was impossible for me to hear her.
“It was especially difficult at night-time, because she had to shout so loudly to wake me that our 17 year old son Joseph woke up, too. So there was a lot of shouting in our house!”
That is no longer the case, confirms a delighted Thomas.
“I’m over the moon with my new hearing aids and the difference they have made to our lives,” he says.
“Now I never have to worry about something being wrong with Rhona because I can hear her no matter where I am in the house or garden.”
Hearing problems have been a part of Thomas’ life since he was a teenager but he only worked up the courage to visit his local clinic in recent months.
“I’m 53 now but I’ve had hearing loss for a long time, probably since I was 16 or so,” he reveals. “But I had this image of hearing aids as being big, bulky, ugly things and I just did not want one. Now I realise the latest devices are almost invisible in your ears. I could not be happier.”
Thomas is very grateful to Patrick McGoldrick and Claire Campbell at Hidden Hearing Carrickfergus for nominating him for the GiveBack scheme.
“Just being able to chat normally to people is brilliant. I’m sure some folk thought I was rude before because it looked as if I was ignoring them when, in fact, I had never heard them in the first place.”