Our celebrated patients
Your hearing is as important to us as it is to you - for us it's personal.
Read what some of our celebrated patients say about how we work and care for them and how we can help you.
“Thanks to Selma, I would not be exaggerating in telling you I have a new life.”
John Barry Humphries, AO CBE, best known for writing and playing his on-stage and television alter egos Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson, has written this lovely testimonial for us:
“I am deaf. I am not hearing impaired. I am not auditorily challenged, I am deaf. Like most deaf people – perhaps all deaf people, I refused to be told or to accept but ultimately I got sick of saying “What?”, “Pardon?”, and “Say again?” I got sick of guessing what people were saying to me and supplying ludicrous responses to them. I got sick of trying to read their lips and straining to hear them and above all, I got sick of seeing so called audiologists who sold me expensive hearing aids without explaining how to use them, or offering information and advice about my deteriorating condition. It is a lonely condition that leads to isolation. I made a lot of mistakes in seeking help and wasting many thousands of dollars and pounds on people who were merely hearing aid salesman posing as audiologists.
“Fortunately, in London, I have a wonderful GP. “I want to see the best” I told him, and he replied. “I know the absolute best but she’s not in Central London – actually she’s a bit of a trip out of town, but worth it.” Selma Becker certainly was. She is in Beaconsfield, which is an hour’s trip by car from happy Hampstead, and on the journey you wonder why you are going until you find yourself sitting in the office of a charming and knowledgeable woman who genuinely wants to help you. After several tests unlike any you have ever been offered before, she provides you with a set of “audio enhancers,” quite invisible to your nearest and dearest, let alone anyone else, and you have these for a short trial period. You then go back and see Selma again for some fine tuning and again every few months, all for the price of your state-of-the-art hearing aids. She always keeps it simple, takes it a step at a time, and nothing is too much trouble. Thanks to Selma I would not be exaggerating in telling you I have a new life.”
And from Barry’s wife, Lizzie Spender:
“Deafness runs in my family. My Grandmother, Ray Litvin, a Russian refugee from the 1890s, went stone deaf at the age of 26 after contracting typhoid, having to give up a brilliant career at the Old Vic theatre. In those days they had things called “Hearing Aids” – a box attached by an ugly cord to the ear. They just didn’t work, and my grandmother had to depend on lip reading, and from an early age I would have to write down anything I wanted to tell her. My mother became very deaf from her seventies onwards. I have always been very nervous about what would happen to my hearing and have seen various audiologists over the years, with no particular benefit.
“My husband was sent to Selma Becker by our GP and I would say that she has changed our lives. He had seen several audiologists both in Sydney and in London and still refused to wear the hearing aids he was given, or rather was sold at great expense. The constant not hearing, mishearing and general defensiveness was driving me crazy! Even worse, he was beginning to give in to the syndrome and become isolated. As he has written in his testimonial, this all changed with Selma. In addition she has tested my ears, explained that miraculously my hearing is, for the time being, quite normal, in spite of my 65 plus age, but the point is that now I can relax, knowing that there is someone I can turn to if and when these things change, and meanwhile I have a programme of regular testing. I recommend Selma to everybody, because not only is she brilliant but she knows how to break through that most insidious aspect of loss of hearing which I see all around me, denial that it is happening, born out of fear.”
“Vastly superior to several hearing experts I went to in Harley Street over the years”
Sir Martyn Lewis, TV news presenter and journalist, says:
“A truly great experience over several years. The care taken in choosing, fitting and adjusting the right aids is meticulous. Allowing you to test the aids for a few weeks before payment is a nice, confident touch. Well worth the 50 minute journey from London. Vastly superior to several hearing experts I went to in Harley Street over the years. Selma keeps fully up to speed with the latest hearing technology but only recommends it if she feels it could be a really significant improvement on what you have already got. And the final judgement is yours. Couldn’t recommend Help In Hearing more highly.”
DJ & Broadcaster Nicky Horne talks about Help in Hearing and his Oticon hearing “enhancers”
Nicky Horne is a broadcaster and DJ who has been presenting radio programmes since the 1970s, having worked for Radio 1, Radio 2, Capital, Virgin, Jazz, Magic, Talksport and Classic FM, amongst others. We fitted Nicky with Oticon OPN1 MRITE hearing aids and here he talks about how he first realised his hearing had been affected by years of listening to loud music. He describes the process of his hearing test with us: – “Selma gave me the most intensive hearing test, much more sophisticated than at the chemist” – and how he can listen to his music through the Oticons. He says he has been given back the precious gift of pure sound. Watch the video (has subtitles) to listen to Nicky’s story.
Paul Burgess of 10cc talks about hearing loss and his Phonak Belong rechargeable hearing aids
Paul Burgess is an English rock drummer, most famous for being the drummer with the English band 10cc since 1973. We recently fitted Paul with the Phonak Belong Rechargeable hearing aids. These are the first hearing aids to feature a specifically designed built-in-lithium-ion rechargeable battery that provides 24 hours of hearing with one simple 3-hour charge. If you’re in a rush, you can rely on a short 30-minute charge to give you up to 6 hours of full performance. You don’t have to worry about batteries any more! Paul says: “Selma went above and beyond the call of duty. It’s the personal touch that you just wouldn’t find in the high street.” Watch the video (has subtitles) to hear Paul talking about his hearing loss and how he is getting on with his Phonak Belong Rechargeable hearing aids.
Strictly Come Dancing Star, Karen Hardy, talks about her Lyric invisible hearing aid
You may be understandably nervous if you suspect you may need a hearing aid. It helps to know that other people, young and old, have the same experience as you. There are many people in public life who wear hearing aids, you just don’t know about it because you can’t see the devices! Here is the story of Karen Hardy, who wears the Lyric invisible hearing aid. Karen Hardy joined Strictly Come Dancing as one of the professional dancers in 2005 and won the competition with her partner, cricketer Mark Ramprakash in 2006. From the age of about 5, Karen had problems with one ear, with almost continuous abscesses. “When I was 9, I was having dinner at home with my family one evening, and my ear just started pouring with blood,” says Karen. “I was rushed to hospital, where they said they would fit a grommet.” Fitting a grommet is a fairly standard procedure for young children, but Karen woke up later, after 4 hours of surgery, to discover that she had been suffering from an aggressive disease called mastoid cholesteatoma. This is a growth in the middle ear, causing dizziness, hearing loss and facial paralysis and even, in extreme cases, death. Hearing loss of 70 per cent By the time she was 18, Karen had lost 70 per cent of the hearing in her left ear and was still in pain. She defied the doctors that told her she couldn’t dance again and as we know, proved them wrong. “On the dance floor I dreamed that I could hear. I could run away from the pain.”
Strictly Come Dancing star Karen Hardy discusses her hearing loss
Karen went on to become undefeated UK, International, British National, World Masters, Open Italian, Yankie Classic, London Open, Osaka World Trophy Champions of Latin American Dance with her dance partner Bryan Watson. But Karen’s hearing problems still bothered her, she couldn’t swim because of the pressure on her ear, and had to avoid getting her head wet in the shower to prevent infections. It was her husband who persuaded her to do something about her hearing loss. Lyric invisible hearing aid trial Karen trialled the Lyric invisible hearing aid in her left ear and never looked back. “It is the most incredible thing,” says Karen. “No-one can see it, I can’t feel it in my ear – I go to bed with the Lyric device in my ear, I can hear if my son is upset in the night, I can shower in the morning and don’t have to take it out, it is permanently in there and I don’t have to worry about it at all.” The Lyric has been nicknamed “the contact lens of the ear” because it is so easy to live with. Karen says that the minute the Lyric was put into her ear by her audiologist, “I nearly burst into tears! The small sounds I could hear were incredible. I just didn’t think it was possible. I called everyone I knew to tell them and I could even use my phone on my damaged ear and could hear perfectly! I could walk along a busy street and hear workmen on scaffolding, could hear on the phone but still hear all the other sounds of the traffic, and could hear people’s conversations on the underground.” Karen says she wants to teach the world to dance, and we think that with her Lyric invisible hearing aid, there is no stopping her! hearing solutions that adapt to people’s environments to ensure that the wearer can hear as clearly as is possible,” said Kevin Jeffery. “The technology along with its discreet fitting and powerful processing is proving to be very successful.”
60s icon Jess Conrad OBE addresses hearing problems with advanced Phonak technology solutions from Help in Hearing
“When I first discussed the situation with Kevin Jeffery of Help in Hearing, he suggested the Phonak Audéo V hearing aid solution and to my delight, not only was the technology discreet – which was ideal for me – I found it assisted my hearing to a level that made me feel confident again in all situations.” When Jess Conrad found it difficult to hear what people were saying in social situations and at professional speaking engagements, he turned to Help in Hearing. It was important for Jess to restore his hearing levels with invisible hearing aids and Principal Audiologist Kevin Jeffery fitted Phonak’s Audéo V, Phonak’s most technological advanced digital hearing aid available today. With over 50 years in showbusiness, Jess is still active as an after dinner speaking guest, appearing regularly in concert with other 60s legends, and continues to be involved in both film and TV work. With such an active public schedule it is crucial for Jess to hear as clearly as possible. The choice of Phonak’s Audéo V provides a solution that is both discreet and capable of adapting and delivering excellent sound in all situations. “When I first discussed the situation with Kevin Jeffery of Help in Hearing, he suggested the Phonak Audéo V hearing aid solution and to my delight, not only was the technology discreet – which was ideal for me – I found it assisted my hearing to a level that made me feel confident again in all situations.” Jess Conrad
Jess is tireless in his charity work as a member of the Freemasons (Chelsea Lodge) and is past King Rat of the Grand Order of Water Rats, an exclusive fraternity of showbusiness performers and he was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to charity in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours. The Phonak Audéo V is a Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) hearing aid, making it highly discreet and covers a broad range of hearing levels which adapt to match personal situations. The aid features four key technology advances: The hearing aids also include a range of technical controls to connect them to various devices including mobile phones, DECT home phones and TVs controlled by a mobile phone app. “The Phonak Audéo V is a further technological step that provides hearing solutions that adapt to people’s environments to ensure that the wearer can hear as clearly as is possible,” said Kevin Jeffery. “The technology along with its discreet fitting and powerful processing is proving to be very successful.” Find out more about the Phonak Audéo V hearing aid here.
“Don’t suffer hearing loss in silence” says Jacqui Hames, former Crimewatch presenter
From working for the Met police force, to performing on live television and giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry, presenter Jacqui Hames knows how to cope with pressure, but she says her world was turned upside down when she suddenly lost her hearing. The life of the former Crimewatch presenter took a tough and unexpected turn about two years ago when her hearing became permanently impaired. Following a quick referral from her GP, Jacqui found solace in the offices of Selma Becker at Help in Hearing. Through consultations in the Farnham Common clinic they were able to agree on the perfect Phonak hearing aid for her. “I was quite fortunate to get help quite quickly and given a hearing aid which works brilliantly for me. Some people see it as a handicap but it doesn’t have to be seen that way, you don’t look at people who wear reading glasses differently and I want people to realise by seeking help you will better your life.” After quickly embarking on her long journey with hearing aids, Jacqui believes there is no need for others to suffer in silence: “People don’t have to retreat into a silent world, a lot of people do cut down on their social lives and they find difficulties with work because they can’t engage with people in the same way. But communication is the building blocks of our lives and if that is impaired you need to do something about it, and it is simple to do.”
TV presenter Jacqui Hames discusses how to manage sudden hearing loss
“There is an emotional impact of being given the news too, which I think quite a lot of people underestimate. I noticed I was really struggling to hold conversations and was finding social situations really difficult. Places like restaurants where there is a lot of peripheral noise and soft furnishings are particularly difficult and at first it can be quite daunting and worrying, but people should not be scared to step forward and get some help.” Watch a 30 second interview with Jacqui talking about how she overcame hearing loss. Jacqui who appeared on the BBC’s Crimewatch for 16 years from 1990, was formerly a Metropolitan Police detective and was most recently under the spotlight again when she took to the stand in the Leveson Inquiry. Experts say the tasks which most people take for granted can become a hardship for people with hearing difficulties but life is back to normal for Jacqui who can even use her hearing aid to stream music and talk on the phone. Jacqui continues, “The technology is extraordinary – if you like a gadget get yourself a hearing aid! You can do so many things, I can stream music and can engage in telephone calls quite easily using my hearing aid, people use headphones all the time and that is effectively what I am doing. Since the hearing loss, I think I became so much more aware of the world around me.