Meet Andrew Owens, Associate Audiologist at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.
“I lost my hearing at birth. I was born prematurely at 26 weeks and the NHS kept me alive.
“I am an Associate Audiologist and started the job four years ago. I thought it would be good to help people who have a hearing impairment like me.
“Seeing my patients every day makes me proud. I know my patients can really struggle, but I try to make their day better.
“I bring Ellie to work with me and our receptionists love seeing her and giving her treats! At night, I take my hearing implant out, so if there was a fire whilst I was on my own, I wouldn’t hear it. Ellie would respond to the alarm and wake me up to help me evacuate. She’s very therapeutic as well, if I’m having a bad day or feeling a bit stressed, she releases that.
“During lockdown, I found it stressful when my patients had to wait for hearing aids. I know that feeling. Being lost without your hearing aid. We produced thousands of packs for patients with information on how to fit new hearing aids themselves.
“This year has made me stronger, because I also lost my Dad. COVID made losing him even more difficult as we had to be socially distanced. Coming to work helps me, as I remember what other people are going through and I know how proud my Dad would be.
“When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with my son who is four and a half and walking Ellie. One of my favourite things about Christmas is the food! My son has also just started school so we’ll be talking about the nativity. He gets so excited.”