Verity Green

Reservoir Dog:Help Ms Green Swim to France for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

Fundraising for Hearing Dogs For Deaf People
raised of £5,000 target
by 387 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
We train amazing hearing dogs to transform the lives of deaf people


In 1997 I was told I would have to learn to walk again and would likely never swim again, after having a bilateral chemical labyrinthectomy (my inner ear balance system was destroyed with a toxic level of medicines). I was already deaf since a baby, and swam for Great Britain in the Senior Deaf Team from the age of 12 years old. At 16 I was ranked World Number 3 in my best event, but I was becoming too ill with Menieres Disease that made me dizzy, therefore I had to accept this last resort treatment at 17 years old. It forced me to end my swimming career early and it took me years to overcome the loss. I was left with triple sensory-impairment: not only was I deaf, but also my balance and vision were now affected too. 

Fast forward 24 years, I have found a way to rehabilitate my brain and use neuroplasticity: I found that swimming outdoors was easier, by removing all the confusing visual input that swimming pools give. Vestibular migraines have meant I have to manage sensory overload. I thought that just maybe, a childhood dream of swimming the English Channel could be possible. I tried a relay, and my balance coped. 

I booked a solo 3 years ago, before there was any glimpse of a global pandemic on the horizon. The pandemic and a very cold winter has affected training a lot: but just like rehabilitation with long term conditions and disability, I have to aim to train smart, rather than hard. Rather like crossing the channel, recovery isn't in a straight line, but many times you can feel like you are going way off course: far from your intended destination and goal. The important part is to keep going day by day, step by step, stroke by stroke. 

Hearing Dogs have supported me for years. They have been well aware of my multiple conditions and assessed me, making sure I have dogs that suit my needs. A small dog wouldn't give me the feedback I need with proprioception. A larger dog helps, but also one that really switches into work mode due to my intense levels of work with mental health (Specialist Pain Management in the NHS and previously Military Veterans, most with PTSD). The charity have been amazing and any support through sharing on social media or donations is very much appreciated.

*Covid-19 - the pilots who support the swim will only be going if the swims are approved in line with Government guidelines. If not, the swim is deferred. Please check back for updates!*

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About the charity

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People trains dogs to alert deaf people to important and life-saving sounds such as the smoke alarm, alarm clock, intruder alarms and baby monitors. These amazing dogs also help deaf people to leave loneliness behind by providing love, companionship and emotional support.

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