I’m terrified for my future. If I don’t get an urgent ear operation in the next two and a half months it’s likely I will be completely deaf, but the waiting list is so long I’ve been told I won’t get one in time.
I can’t really describe how heartbroken I am.
When I was first told I was losing hearing in both ears I was shocked and scared, but I thought living in a country like New Zealand meant I would be ok. I was told there was a straightforward operation that could fix my ears and, believing in the health system, I thought all would be ok.
But the government has given up on me. My future is in their hands, but they refuse to fund more than 40 surgeries a year despite a waiting list of over 214 adults. During the twenty months since I was put on the waiting list my right ear has become completely deaf and every minute that passes I risk becoming completely deaf in my left also.
To make things even worse, in August last year I was told I wouldn’t get an implant anytime soon due to a lack of government funding.
When I asked for an update in June this year, I was told I’d been removed from the waiting list altogether! (This makes the government’s numbers look better.)
I have been a volunteer surf lifesaver for over six years now. I want to be able to continue saving lives. I want to listen to all the little things, my family talking, the Tui’s, the sound of the waves. I want the future I had planned. Once I become fully deaf, I will also start to lose the ability to speak. My entire world is crashing in front of me.
Just this last week my hearing has deteriorated and I haven’t been able to hear my family or boyfriend speak to me. It’s left me in tears, and I am so scared and angry.
I am not asking to jump to the front of the queue, I am asking for urgent funding so that those in front of me can get their urgent operations also.
I have been trying to fundraise to pay for the operation myself, but with only three months left I won’t get there in time. I feel so let down by this government. If I was rich enough to pay the $62,500 for this surgery myself I would be ok, but I don’t have that money.