Providing a new lease of life to a Dublin St John of God Sister has helped a top Parteen hearing aid specialist scoop the most coveted award in his field for the second successive year.
Peter Ferguson, a long-time resident of Parteen, fought off stiff competition to secure the Irish Audiologist of the Year crown for the second year running.
Mr Ferguson was nominated by his patient, Anne Casey, age 64, who described how he helped her participate fully in life, after an infection caused severe hearing loss.
Anne’s hearing began to deteriorate when she was just 27, having contracted Rubella, which caused damage to the nerve endings in her ear.
At the time, Anne had just embarked on a teaching career in Dublin and was left devastated when her hearing aid audiologist informed her that the infection had caused such severe hearing loss that hearing aids would be of no help.
Anne decided to try hearing aids for herself and visited a specialist in Dublin, who fitted her with a single aid.
In her nomination, Anne said, “I began with one hearing aid but I was not managing very well. My provincial at that time came across a professional person in Limerick, who was hard of hearing but managed very well. She asked him about his hearing aid audiologist, who happened to be Peter Ferguson. She recommended that I make an appointment with him, even though he was now almost three hours’ drive away from me.
“He did wonders for me,” said Anne, “and I have been with him ever since. I was able to remain in teaching and have held a number of other professional and responsible positions since and I am managing very well.
“I now have two digital Phonak hearing aids, which I find wonderful. Mr Ferguson has spent hours testing me, fitting hearing aids and adjusting them. He has gone far beyond the call of duty to enable me to hear with practically no hearing.
“I have re-trained at Trinity College and I continue to work in a social housing area now in Edenderry. I can perform one-to-one counselling and participate fully in the life of the area. This is all due to the expertise, giftedness, professionalism and sheer genius of my audiologist. He is an exceptional human being. I am so deeply grateful to him,” she said.
In addition to recommending him to several other people who had similar experiences, for years she wanted to write about what he had done for her, as his work ensured so many people have been cared through her ministry.
“Peter’s commitment to ongoing development and to the use of modern technology is second to none. He does it all in a quiet, unassuming way. He is an absolute gentleman, caring professional and conducts a practice and centre for excellence. I highly recommend Peter for this award,” she said.
The competition, which is run in partnership between the world’s leading hearing aid battery manufacturer, Rayovac, renowned publication, Audio Infos Magazine and the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA), relies on nominations from patients, who have experienced exceptional care from their audiologist.
Despite the competition running for the past seven years, this year is only the second time Irish entries have been included. All entries are judged by a panel of independent industry professionals, to determine who deserves to be crowned as the winner.
Paula Brinson-Pyke, marketing director at Rayovac, said, “It’s stories like Anne’s that are the reason we run this competition – to reward the professionalism, patience and kindness that audiologists around the world show to their patients day in, day out.”