Read Rosie's story
"I am Rosie and I joined The Elizabeth Foundation in May 2005 at only five weeks of age. I stayed until I was almost four years old. I was born profoundly deaf – a sensorineural deafness – and I got hearing aids when I was five weeks old. I received my right cochlear implant when I was 18 months and my left when I was six years old.
"Now I am 16 and, after doing really well in my GCSEs, I am at sixth form college doing A levels in Maths, Physical Education and Geography. I am also doing a coaching course, teaching year four pupils at a local primary school.
"Sport is my passion – being deaf and having cochlear implants has never stopped me from doing many sports. I am a county swimmer – my best stroke is butterfly. I am also a regional synchronised swimmer and got into the East Region Synchro Squad. I think I am the only deaf synchronised swimmer in the country! I absolutely love the waterproof processor cover I have. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to hear in the water, which would make synchro impossible.
"I was a member of all sports teams in my school, playing goal shooter in netball and captaining the rounders team. Now I play for an adult team in a local league and also play cricket for my local ladies’ team.
"My future plans consist of going to university, travelling the world and finding a job I love. At the moment I don’t know what I want to do job-wise, so I am just keeping my options open.
"Over the years I have had some amazing Teachers of the Deaf who have always been supportive and have been there for me. They made me feel as though I’m just like everyone else – which is how I like to be treated. People do not notice that I am deaf because my speech is clear and my hair covers my processors.
"My family and I continue to keep up-to-date with The Elizabeth Foundation. I made many friends while I was there and still keep in contact and visit them. We are extremely grateful for the support and opportunities that the charity has given us. I was ready to listen before I could hear and this gave me the best possible start in life!"
"I was ready to listen before I could hear and this gave me the best possible start in life!"