Meningitis Now celebrates Deaf Awareness Week 2023

1st May 2023

Deaf Awareness Week is an annual campaign which promotes the positivity of living with deafness. Meningitis Now supports many amazing people living with hearing loss due to meningitis

Meningitis Now celebrates Deaf Awareness Week 2023

Hearing loss is one of the most commonly reported after-effects following bacterial meningitis. It is a fundamentally life-changing experience which requires adjustments for the person affected as well as their family, friends, and wider community. 

Advancements in technology mean that some people with profound hearing loss are often suitable to have a cochlear implant, a device which turns sound into electrical signals. Instead of simply making sounds louder, like a conventional hearing aid would, the cochlear implant provides a sensation of hearing by directly stimulating the auditory nerve using electrical signals. 


People with hearing loss find ingenious, adaptive ways to navigate a mostly hearing world, often learning to lip read, using sign language or choosing to communicate using their voice.  

The impact of hearing loss can’t be underestimated but it doesn’t define a person. Deaf Awareness Week is a moment to celebrate and empower the deaf community. 

Lyndsey Barron’s son Jake developed meningitis when he was nine years old. After days of waiting in the hospital they found out that the infection had caused Jake to lose his hearing.  

Lyndsey had never heard of cochlear implants before doctors suggested them for Jake. Knowing they were the right option for him, Lyndsey and Jake took the four-hour journey by ambulance from their home in Inverness to Kilmarnock for emergency implant surgery. 

Stay positive 

Lyndsey says, “There was a small timeframe due to the possibility of the body repairing itself and implants not being suitable. We had to learn a lot in a very short time, but it never crossed our minds not to give Jake the best option to have hearing again.”  

She goes on, “I will never forget the look on his face when he was well enough to realise that he had lost his natural hearing fully. All we could do was reassure him and try to stay positive. 

“For Jake the transition to cochlears was difficult at first but he eventually got used to it. It was a challenging time - going from a fully hearing person to profoundly deaf in a short space of time. He had to learn a whole new world of communication but his love of technology and learning helped him with the process.” 

Shining example 

Jake is a shining example of people living with hearing loss. He has adapted to hearing with his implants, which he was interested in from the word go as he’s keen on all things technical, he also enjoys spending time with his friends and playing games like Minecraft and VR.  

Lyndsey says, “Jake has adapted to his new way of hearing and although it’s been a huge challenge for him, he has been so positive throughout.” 

“Jake is an amazing son and big brother and we are so proud of how he has coped with such a big life change. We are in awe of how resilient our son is and are so proud of him.” 

Meningitis Now has supported hundreds of people living with hearing loss. If you or a family member has been affected by hearing loss after meningitis we can help. Call our Meningitis Helpline on 0808 80 10 388 or email to speak to our experienced staff. 

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