Letter: My priceless return to the world of sound

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Sir: So cochlear implants are considered on a par with cosmetic surgery by the Bromley Health Authority ('NHS treatment list varies by region', 26 September). In 1984 I was one of the first recipients of a cochlear implant in the UK. The implant, albeit a simple protoype, brought me back from 26 years of silence to the world of sound. The birds sang and the doorbell rang, my speech improved, I could modulate my voice correctly and, last but not least, I could enjoy an easy, relaxed conversation.

Today I look forward to benefiting from more advanced cochlear implant technology and the joy of being able to use the telephone. Many profoundly deaf children, who would otherwise be very handicapped for life, can now have cochlear implants. How can a price be laid on one of the most vital human faculties - the ability to hear and communicate through speech?

Yours faithfully,

ALISON HEATH

Horsleys Green,

Buckinghamshire

26 September

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