Meningitis Now staff member Clara Wiggins

Meningitis Now's Rebuilding Futures Fund supports Kerry

Clara Wiggins | 29th January 2020

Thirteen times meningitis survivor Kerry Brown has told us that new hearing equipment provided with money from our Rebuilding Futures Fund has been completely “life changing”

Kerry receives money from our Rebuilding Futures Fund

Not only can she now hear better, the clarity from the equipment has also meant she can understand voices better – benefiting not just her but her whole family!

Kerry’s story is certainly one that shows what a huge difference our Rebuilding Futures Fund can make to people’s lives.

Kerry, who lives in Northumberland with fiancée Lez, daughter Lauryn, and son Ethan, said the first time she contracted meningitis was when she was 18 months old. Since then, she has had the disease 13 times – the last time in December 2017. She said that as a result of not being treated properly she has lost her hearing, has severe balance issues, headaches, memory loss and anxiety issues. 

To overcome the hearing issues, Kerry has been fitted with a cochlear implant. But she told us she was still struggling to hear properly, especially with conversations and in group gatherings.

This is where the Roger Select came in - a small microphone which automatically selects the person who is speaking and boosts their voice, helping to clarify conversation when there is lots of people speaking or background noise. Kerry had been trying out the Roger Select and knowing what a difference it was making was keen to keep it. Thanks to the Rebuilding Futures Fund, now she can. 

The impact of the Rebuilding Futures Fund

“I have been trialling the Select for a month now and have enjoyed hearing better, voices have more clarity and the tone is more understandable,” Kerry told us. 

“I could not distinguish voices I didn’t recognise before, now I can understand them better, I can watch TV without the subtitles, I can even use the phone for the first time in two years!"

“It is just incredible the difference with my Select equipment”.

Kerry also said she knew the microphone wouldn’t just improve her life, but also the lives of her family.

“Meningitis robbed me of my hearing but it won’t rob me of my life!” she said. “I have a beautiful family and really feel the Roger system will not just benefit me but also my family as it is frustrating for them also when I can’t engage in conversation."

“Thank you to Meningitis Now for considering my application and granting me the funds to buy this equipment – I really am very grateful”. 

Meningitis Now Community Support Officer Chris Mather said how happy she was for Kerry, and knew what a difference it would make to her life. 

“I first met Kerry at our Family Day at Alnwick Castle last October, which she came to with her daughter Lauryn,” she said. 

“After that meeting, I went to see her for a support visit and told her about the Rebuilding Futures Fund – so I’m really pleased she put in her application and has been awarded the money to purchase the microphone."

“I know this will make a big difference to not just her life but those of the people around her. It’s always great to be able to help people in this really positive way!”

The Rebuilding Futures Fund provides financial, practical and emotional support for people of all ages impacted by meningitis. 

It compromises four separate areas – Health & Wellbeing, Opportunities, Bereavement, and Specialist Equipment. Each area provides funding towards different types of support, but they are all designed to help people rebuild their futures with hope and confidence. 

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