Life changing decision: Helen and Janette (uploaded by Helen)
Helen was just nineteen months old when she contracted meningitis and became completely deaf. Told by doctors that her daughter would never be able to hear or speak properly, Helen’s mother Janette was faced with an agonising decision – whether to take a risk on a new technology that could allow Helen to hear and speak – a cochlear implant. Now 21, Helen has had the cochlear implant for eighteen years and was one of the first children in the UK to be fitted with the device, which allowed her to learn language and communication in a similar way to a hearing child. As Janette dropped Helen off at the start of her final year at Oxford University, they sat down in Helen’s college room to discuss this life-changing decision. Their conversation brought back difficult memories which still have the power to set emotions running high today.