My earliest memory is when I was around the age of 2 years old and I was in hospital for glue ear, something that it was hoped was the cause of, and therefore the solution to, my deafness. It wasn’t. Parents were not allowed to stay over in hospital with their children in those days – I vividly remember Mum and Dad leaving me at the hospital and driving off to go home. So I was left alone, unable to communicate and feeling isolated. It was a feeling that would come to describe much of my childhood.