Graham Carrick (67), Oliver Campbell (0.5)

It is by a strange coincidence that as Graham Carrick celebrates the 30th anniversary of becoming the world’s first cochlear implantee, Oliver Campbell begins his journey to receive his implants.

At the time of Carrick’s surgery, the processor was, I am told, the size of a cupboard and could only be used in the lab. Oliver, fortunately, will receive two processors the size of hearing aids.

Tomorrow, little Oliver visits St. George’s (yet again – he was there getting new hearing aid moulds and having audiology today), but this time he will have his first taste of general anaesthetic. Oliver is having an MRI, CT and more ABR testing whilst asleep. You can’t (obviously) get a six-month-old to lie still for an hour in a scanner. I hated it when Alice went for the same tests. She was somewhat older and screamed herself to sleep as they held the facemask on. Oliver will be confused and, more importantly, very hungry.

That said, they are robust little things babies. He will probably barely notice what has happened and will be back home again by the afternoon. All we can hope for is that it passes without hitch and that the scans tell us what we want – that being that Oli’s inner ear physiology and the health of his auditory nerve are as they should be and that, all being well, his CI journey will be as successful as Alice’s.

So do spare a thought for the wee man tomorrow as he goes under at 10am.

Also, google Graham Carrick and read a little more of his story. It really is a wonder and, Professor Clark, let’s hope your invention can help our little boy too…

Little Oliver

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