Ana has been supported by our Hearing Impairment team for over 7 years.  She has recently sent us an update of what she has been up to, her challenges and successes, which was delightful to receive:


"The past year has been quite successful for me. My football is going really well; I finally got into my dream club - Chelsea, and although it’s only the development squad, I’m still proud. I play more often now because I’m pushing myself to fulfil the potential I know I have. I hope to play for England one day to make myself and my family proud. I understand that this will be a big challenge but I know I can do it. This year I didn’t play county cricket, as I was focusing more on football, but my coaches still believe I play at that level. I play club cricket so I’m still practicing and continuing to develop new skills. The only bad thing with cricket is that I struggle to hear with the helmet on. My hearing aids begin to whistle so I can’t hear my batting partner making calls to run. But never fear, I have easily solved this by making all the calls myself (even if it does result in getting myself out, occasionally). My partner might yell “NO!” but I say “YEEEESSSSSS!”

At school, I’ve found things quite hard. None of my acquaintances understand what it’s like to be deaf so they don’t make it very easy for me to be around them. I get really frustrated because I’ve told them so many times that if I ask them to repeat something it’s not because I wasn’t listening, it’s because I didn’t hear. Some of my teachers still think it’s acceptable to wear scarves and necklaces when they’re teaching me (I use a radio-aid, so dangly things make it very hard to concentrate). Overall, school has been better.

Some time soon, I’m getting a hearing dog and I am so excited! I know having an extra set of working ears will eradicate my fear of not hearing the fire alarm and give me more confidence. Also, I won’t be late getting up because a dog has no snooze button. The alarm clock I have at the moment will shake my bed in attempt to wake me up when actually all it does is wake everyone else in the house. I’ve yet to be defeated!"

 

My message is:

“Don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way. Believe in yourself.”

 

Part I of Ana's story can be read here.