August 18, 2022

BBC presenter who started going deaf gave up having a third baby – Daily Mail

Helena Merriman woke with a start and patted the empty space in the bed. 

‘I glanced at the baby monitor and saw my husband holding our four-month-old baby, Sam,’ she recalls. ‘It was strange because I hadn’t been alerted by his cries.

‘It happened again, once or twice a week, but I just put it down to fatigue from being a new mum,’ says Helena, 40, a BBC radio presenter and producer.

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Helena Merriman woke with a start and patted the empty space in the bed. 

‘I glanced at the baby monitor and saw my husband holding our four-month-old baby, Sam,’ she recalls. ‘It was strange because I hadn’t been alerted by his cries.

‘It happened again, once or twice a week, but I just put it down to fatigue from being a new mum,’ says Helena, 40, a BBC radio presenter and producer.

‘But after several weeks, it became even more regular. I found that if I slept on my right side, with my left ear up, I could hear Sam’s cries, but not if my right ear was uppermost.

Struggle: Helena Merriman with her son, Sam

‘Yet I still had good enough hearing to be able to manage when I was up and about, so I didn’t notice it much. And when I did, I’d come up with reasons why it couldn’t be a hearing problem.

‘For example, I was forever apologising to my husband, Henry, for turning on the subtitles on the TV, but thought it was maybe because I was obsessed with seeing the dialogue.’

While Helena was on maternity leave, daytimes weren’t a problem because of the good hearing in her left ear and the baby monitor, which amplified sounds.

But in the summer of 2017, as she started going out more, she was horrified to find that she couldn’t hear conversations, particularly in crowded, noisy places.

‘I’d be in the pub and become very reliant on lip-reading,’ says Helena, who lives in South-West London with her husband Henry Hemming, 42, a best‑selling author, and their children Matilda, eight, and Sam, now four.

‘I’d be slightly smiling and nodding when I couldn’t hear and then I’d see the bemused look on people’s faces which meant I wasn’t making sense. I felt embarrassed and awkward.

While Helena was on maternity leave, daytimes weren’t a problem because of the good hearing in her left ear and the baby monitor, which amplified sounds. But in the summer of 2017, as she started going out more, she was horrified to find that she couldn’t hear conversations, particularly in crowded, noisy places

‘I’d always been the first to say yes to a night out, but over the following few months I stopped, as it wasn’t enjoyable feeling like I was a bystander.’

After nearly three months of ignoring it, she made an appointment with …….

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-10365719/BBC-presenter-started-going-deaf-gave-having-baby.html