Joanne Milne: Woman who regained her hearing prepares for loss of her sight

The 40-year-old from Gateshead has Usher syndrome, a rare genetic disorder and a leading cause of deafblindness

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The Independent Online

A woman who made headlines last year with a video that showed her hearing for the first time, has described her bucket list of things she wants to see before she loses her sight.

Ms Joanne Milne, 40, who has Usher syndrome, has started a bucket list of things to see before going blind.

She says she wishes to see the seven Wonders of the World, meet Paul McCartney and go to Brazil to see the Mardi Gras, before the loss of her sight, which began in her mid-twenties.

Ms Milne told Heart FM: “My sight loss is like a ticking time machine and I want to make the most of every day. I always wanted to see the seven wonders of the world when I was older… but I can’t plan ahead and have to see this now while I can.”

A video of Ms Milne, from Gateshead, showing her went viral in March 2014 when her deafness was alleviated using cochlear implants in a video that went viral.

"Hearing things for the first time is so, so emotional, from the ping of a light switch to running water. I can't stop crying," Ms Milne said after the implants were switched on at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Usher syndrome is a rare genetic disorder associated with a mutation in any one of 10 genes resulting in a combination of hearing loss and visual impairment and is a leading cause of deafblindness.

It is incurable at present. The condition is characterized by hearing loss and gradual loss of vision.

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