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A Story of Hope, Healing and Hearing

News
24 March 2019
Having lost most of my hearing and having to wear hearing aids for some time before my cycling accident, I know all too well what it is like to live a life in almost complete silence.
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Many of us ask what our purpose in life is and many will spend their lives searching for it. But I can truly say that, through the fate of a traumatic cycling accident which could have been seen as the worst thing that could ever happen to me, in fact has turned out to be the best gift I could ever have been given. Simply because I chose to embrace it and find beauty in the journey.

Having lost most of my hearing and having to wear hearing aids for some time before my cycling accident, I know all too well what it is like to live a life in almost complete silence and how detached a person feels without the simple presence of sound. But through a miraculous turn of events, I managed to regain most of my hearing after the accident. So, having been given a life’s gift to work with such an amazing team that could give millions of people worldwide the chance to hear again has led me in the direction of now knowing my life’s purpose, to change lives as much as I can through the technologies and life experiences I have gained.

 

 

Standing in theatre and physically getting to see it all unfold in front of us in real time after countless hours of design, planning and training really will leave memories and feelings that will last for a lifetime. If I could share that with the world, you too would be overwhelmed by the feelings we all felt on the day by being able to see what the future holds for so many people with hearing loss.

Manufacturing the implants has not been an easy task and having to use skill sets that are not found in the medical field was a real challenge. With myself and the rest of the team having worked in the jewellery and in the maxillofacial field for so many years, we were able to use the metallurgy training we had and the design skills to create a new production platform to be able to harmonically tune the implant so that it resonates to the same frequency as the natural bone your body normally produces. Through this we were able to create the sound frequency as if it was an organic bone, which is why the patient is able to hear sound so quickly after the surgery.

 

 

We truly look forward to the future we are able to give to so many people as we have now figured out a new way of molecular production using innovative 3D printing and bio-compatible scaffolding processes to rebuild other areas of people’s bodies that have suffered any form of trauma. This makes me feel the second chance I was given in life will not only be a gift to me but a gift to so many others around me. And having such amazing surgeons and team players by my side, I am sure many lives will be changed.

We all could not have done this without the amazing support South Africa as a nation has given us. So as much as we will be changing lives going forward, it’s the people of South Africa who are the ones we are humble to. We are truly grateful and thankful to you all for the people you are, as life in South Africa gave us the skills to do this life changing work!


Written by: Jason Laing; 3D Printing Pioneer