Meet Wales' first profoundly deaf midwife

From BBC - March 12, 2018

Sian Preddy, from Bridgend is Wales' first profoundly deaf midwife. Here she explains how she decided to pursue a career she loves and how she has overcome barriers.

I was four years old when I was first diagnosed as deaf.

My mother cried and cried when told the news. She had known there was something wrong with me but was constantly brushed off by doctors as an overly anxious mother; she was so relieved to finally have a diagnosis.

After that, I was given a hearing aid but just ripped it off. Nothing helped. I kept getting ear infections and by the age of 14 was classed as profoundly deaf.

Because I had spent so much time in hospital as a child, I was interested in the medical world and wanted to be a nurse.

But at school, I was told it was not an option. There were no deaf nurses.

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As the years went on, I had two children.

And I remember the midwife at my first birth saying I would be a fantastic midwife because of my personality; it just stuck.

Because I wanted to hear my children, I then had a cochlear implant.

Adapted stethoscope

It's an electronic device that helps deaf people hear by sending signals to the nerves used for hearing. It comes in two parts - a small device placed under the skin above the ear, and a headpiece that sits on the outside of your head.

I then applied for midwifery training and have not looked back.

So far, I have completed two years at the University of South Wales.

The implant helps me hear things, such as monitors and emergency buzzers that are essential in midwifery.

'A privilege'


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