An Aberdeen woman who received help “too late” to prevent her going deaf in one ear has taken on a fundraising challenge for the “lifeline” charity that came to her aid.
Louise Walker will be among hundreds of runners lining up to take part in the 10k and half marathon at the Great Aberdeen Run on Sunday August 25.
She is being driven by a desire to raise money for Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, a support charity that also carries out biomedical research on potential treatments.
Ms Walker has already received hundreds of pounds in pledges for the charity as she prepares to take on the Great Aberdeen 10k.
The 39-year-old first started having problems with hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness last autumn before permanently losing her hearing on one side.
Specialist doctors said it was the result of a viral infection and told her she would need to use two hearing aids to hear more clearly.
Ms Walker, from Kittybrewster, said: “When I found out I was permanently deaf in one ear, I was completely shocked and heartbroken.
“I was horrified at the thought of having to wear hearing aids in my 30s and it affected my confidence to continue playing sports.
“My biggest challenges were distinguishing voices from background noise in crowded places and identifying the direction of sounds, which made work meetings and socialising with my friends difficult.
“My hearing aids, however, have helped a lot in overcoming those problems and I can tell much better where the sound is coming from, so I now hope to get back playing football and touch rugby sports which I have been missing a lot.”
She added: “My personal experience of losing my hearing so unexpectedly has demonstrated to me the importance of raising awareness of sudden deafness to help people – including health professionals – better understand that in some cases sudden loss of hearing can be a medical emergency that may need treatment within 72 hours to have a chance of recovery.
“Although it was too late for my hearing to be saved, modern day digital hearing aids and assistive technology as well as support and tips from charities like Action on Hearing Loss Scotland can be a real lifeline to cope with everyday situations.”
Ms Walker’s fundraising webpage can be found at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/louise-walker116.
For more information on the event, visit www.greatrun.org/great-aberdeen-run.