Lady Geraldine Elliott was born in the English West Country, in the city of Bristol. Since birth, she experienced multiple ear infections. By the age of 7, the ear infections resulted in losing her hearing in both ears.
Speech was her main mode of communication because she could hear in the early years of her life. After her diagnosis, she adopted lip-reading as an extra assistive method to help understand and communicate with people.
Her family members were all hearing with no history of deafness, so they didn’t realize right away that she was not hearing any sound. Family situations became a challenge due to the lack of awareness and understanding. It also brought up barriers throughout her school life as well.
“Education was a nightmare, I just couldn’t hear so they thought I was thick and regularly sent me to the back of the class, but that made matters worse.” Lady Geraldine says. In order to keep up with her classmates, she had to rely on self-learning.
In her early twenties, Lady Geraldine was presented with the opportunity to have an operation that could change her life. The surgery was to “reconstruct her inner ear and implant an eardrum.” Although the operation came with risks, there was a chance of slightly improving her hearing by 30 percent.
The idea for her to try this operation came after she poured her heart out to her doctor, explaining her communication struggles that she faced each day.
“It eventually became overwhelming to cope with especially when people talking weren’t actually facing me so I couldn’t lip-read them, but thanks to (the doctor’s) kindness and caring I was offered an operation,” she explained.
Lady Geraldine describes the strange feeling she felt when she heard for the first time after her operation. Even with only 40 percent hearing in one ear, she described the result as”‘immediate and truly awe-inspiring.” One sound she recalls hearing was eating cornflakes for breakfast! The sounds felt loud and overwhelming to the point where she would wear ear defenders to eat them. The ear defenders became a part of her daily grind until she acclimated to her new world.
Even with only 40 percent hearing in one ear, the operation re-introduced her to the wonders of music. Previously she only encountered music when she would go to her mother’s local concerts.
She accesses music by using her existing hearing with a combination of lip-reading and feeling low-frequency vibrations.
“I find that with this combination, I can hear music fairly normally, well I think it’s fairly normal,” says Lady Geraldine.
It has also empowered her with the ability to sing.
After traveling the world and living abroad with her partner, the couple chose to settle back in Scotland, where she continued to make music.
Inspired by the musical tastes from South America where they lived before, Lady Geraldine worked with experienced Scottish musicians to pursue her musical talent. She went onto releasing two original albums; “Little Miss Blue” and “Fast Cars & Movie Stars.”
Alongside her professional singing career, Lady Geraldine loves to explore her artistic and creative side by creating jewelry and oil paintings.
More recently, she embarked on a new business venture, investing in her talents with her jewelry and “Lady Geraldine Designs Ltd” began.
Lady Geraldine is another glorious example of #DeafTalent. She shows that her hearing loss doesn’t stand in her way of the successful singing career that she aspires of.
She is also hopeful to inspire anyone with deaf or with partial hearing to follow their dream.
Learn more about Lady Geraldine here!