Young CHECT member Suri (age 10) was born with bilateral Rb. As a result of having chemotherapy as a very young child, he has had to visit Great Ormond Street (GOSH) for a hearing test. He kindly shares his blog with us about the experience.

I have been through many hospital appointments since the age of – well, since when I was born – but the lockdown hospital visit was a lot different.

I had to go into GOSH, or the Great Ormond Street Hospital, for a hearing test during lockdown. Because I went through several rounds of treatment for retinoblastoma, the doctors wanted to make sure my hearing was working perfectly. I was supposed to have this done a few years ago, but it just came together now…

Lockdown hospitals are very different and strange, because it’s way too quiet and full of social distancing signs. At first, I felt very anxious because I hate eye checkups and body scans. But I was glad to hear that all I needed to do that day was a hearing test. I waited in the patients’ room until I got called out to do my ‘practical sound test’ by someone called an ‘audiologist’. I scurried along across the hallway to the sound examination area which was filled with wires and data and charts, all to check my hearing. 

At first they put on some headphones to check my hearing was working and then they played different sounds and noises. I had to press a button every time I heard a sound. TRUST ME, THEY WERE REALLY LOUD. But soon very quiet. From 20Hz to 20,000Hz. The audiologist said I could hear the normal sound range very well and was impressed with my results from the audiometry test.

I then had to sit absolutely still for my next test, which was called ‘auditory brainstem response’. They put in earplugs and make you listen to all types of sounds. They then measure the signals from my brain. The hardest part was staying still! I had to move my tongue!

Then afterwards I told them I didn’t have any pain and I was allowed to go home quickly. It was a fun session and it was nice to have no waiting or queueing at GOSH. I then got ice cream before we got on the train back home so it was a fun trip!