Buck Free Press, UK
by Neil Phillips
THE managing director of Chiltern Railways went deaf for a day after being challenged by a Saunderton-based charity to experience the train service his company provided - both with and without the help of a hearing dog.
Rob Brighouse agreed to the gauntlet set down by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and travelled to and from London Marylebone after having gel moulds inserted into his ears.
These gave him a temporary 60per cent hearing loss which he said immediately gave him the experience of the sudden effects of deafness, leaving him feeling isolated and out of control.
He said: "As soon as the gels were in my ears, I felt cut off from everyone around me. I knew that people were having a conversation, but I had no idea what they were talking about. I’ve become accustomed to the everyday sounds of the hustle and bustle at London Marylebone station, but suddenly everything around me was silent. I had lost completely control of the situation, I felt isolated and alone."