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Terry, who is 75 years old and living with his wife in the Rhondda, suffers from hard of hearing, tinnitus, and vertigo.
What started as missing words within sentences and needing to second-guess what people were saying, as well as suffering from vertigo, Terry underwent tests to see what was causing these symptoms.

Suffering from vertigo came out of the blue for Terry. He found it emotionally difficult to deal with and would shed a tear or two. Unable to control the feeling of everything spinning, Terry would feel helpless and alone; there is nothing anyone can do to stop the spinning.
Terry was feeling very stressed, anxious, and saddened about his hearing loss. The constant sounds of the brain signals causing the tinnitus made him feel agitated. The diagnosis of Terry’s condition came as a relief, knowing it wasn’t something more serious and that he could now find the right help and support to deal with his symptoms.
Importantly, Terry has learned to live with the conditions, embracing and accepting them as a part of him.
Terry is the first to admit that he has cried over the difficulty of living with vertigo, however he focuses on the fact that vertigo is not going to harm him and he is learning to live with it.

The Hard of Hearing club has been a godsend. Terry came across the club 7 years ago through the community care at his local welfare hall. Terry describes how open the members of the club are to talking about anything; one minute they’ll have a cry and a moan about something, and the next minute they’ll be laughing and joking.
Terry uses writing poems as a means to cope with living with the condition. He describes that a poem would pop into his head at random times and would write them down before it disappears. He refers to his poems as thoughts in rhyme, remembering exactly where he was and how he was feeling at the time.

An Empty Chair – by Terence Meirion Williams
An empty space, an empty chair
Take me back to when you were there
The sound of your laughter for all those years
Is now taken over by the sound of tears
My heart says you’ll be there when I walk through the door
Sitting at the table like you did before
But the house will be empty and so will your chair
But deep in my heart you will always be there.

Extract from Lleswyl 2024

This short video showcases the work and services of the Wales Council for Deaf People and how they are changing people’s lives. It was shown in Lleswyl 2024. The video includes Terry reading two of his poems, one being ‘The Empty Chair’.

View Lleswyl 2024 in full on our YouTube channel of the same name