Deaf Mark to hear for first time after op


Mark Ramsay with brother Robert

By Alexander Lawrie

A DEAF Scot has undergone a complex operation to allow him to hear for the first time.

Mark Ramsay, 29, had the cochlear implant operation – which could literally turn up the sound in his life – last week.

Doctors have hailed the op a complete success but Mark, originally from Edinburgh, now has to wait another month before they can start his hearing process.

And the lifelong Liverpool fan is overjoyed after his idol Steven Gerrard phoned his family last week to offer his support ahead of the operation – and says he can’t wait to hear You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Mark’s older brother Robert, 38, who has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness for his brother’s deafness, accompanied his sibling to Crosshouse Hospital, in Kilmarnock, for the operation at the weekend.

He said: “I’m so chuffed for Mark that this operation was a success. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that it works.

“It wasn’t too difficult an operation and Mark didn’t moan about the pain once, but that’s the kind of guy he is. He never wants to complain or put anybody out.

“He is actually playing it all down just now but I do know he is absolutely delighted inside.”

When Mark returns to the Ayrshire hospital on December 12, doctors will gradually adjust the volume control in the tiny implant which connects Mark’s ear to the nerve endings inside his brain.

The device has the capacity to go to level four, but doctors will begin on level one as even the quietest sounds are likely to be alarming for Mark.

Robert said: “It’s quite funny but it isn’t things like music that will amaze Mark the most, but I think it will be the normal, everyday sounds like a light being switched, the kettle boiling and children playing that Mark will be stunned to hear.

“He’s also a huge Liverpool fan and says he can’t wait to hear the roar from the Kop, and to listen to You’ll Never Walk Alone being sung for the first time.

“I got in touch with Liverpool about Mark and they very kindly sent a pack with a strip, scarf and programmes for him.

“But the best news was when I got a call from a Scouser last week – and it turned out to be Stevie Gerrard himself.

“He told me to tell Mark he was wishing him all the luck in the world. It was an amazing gesture from Stevie, and Mark was thrilled to bits.”

Brave Mark’s fiancée, who is helping him recuperate at their London home, now plans to undergo the same operation next April, and the couple could be hearing the sound of wedding bells for the first time together.

The cochlear implant procedure has had its critics after doubts were expressed among health professionals, but it is now beginning to emerge as a safe and respected process.