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Hearing dog helps TV star as he goes deaf for the day
JOHN Barrowman went deaf for the day to raise awareness about those who suffer with hearing loss, and was then partnered with a hearing dog from Saunderton.
The TV star who has starred in Doctor Who and Torchwood, is a celebrity ambassador for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People which is based in Saunderton.
Approximately one in six people in the UK suffer with hearing loss and John had gel moulds inserted as part of a filmed experiment to better understand the difficulties that deaf people face.
It left him with a 60 per cent hearing loss and he then attempted to go about his daily routine.
He said: "I didn’t realise how challenging deafness would be. I was extremely anxious when walking down the street and crossing the road, as I couldn’t hear busy traffic or the sounds of footsteps walking behind me. It was so tiring trying to concentrate on what people were saying. I became increasingly withdrawn and frustrated, and I was isolated from conversations around me. I felt invisible."
John, who talked about his experience on Good Morning Britain this morning, was then given a hearing dog called Robyn for the afternoon, who helped him out by alerting him to the sounds and danger signals that he could no longer hear such as the fire alarm, telephone and doorbell.
John said: "With Robyn by my side, I didn’t feel invisible anymore as people were able to see from her jacket that I was deaf. I was also less reliant on others to do things for me. Having a hearing dog gave me back my independence, made me feel safe when out in public, and best of all, this clever dog provided me with wonderful companionship to alleviate the loneliness I had felt."
Every day in the UK, more than 10 million people with hearing loss are faced with the communication barriers and isolation that John experienced. To watch John’s video, please visit www.hearingdogs.org.uk/jb
Text HDOG05 to 70070 to donate £5.