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Jo set to break the silence at Cheltenham Literature Festival

JoMilneJO MILNE, who lived in a world of silence for 39 years, is among the list of high profile speakers at this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival (October 2-11).

Battling deep depression and the difficulties her lack of hearing threw at her, Jo was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Usher Syndrome, a condition that will one day rob her of her sight too, before she turned 30.

Determined to live her life to the full, in 2014 Jo made the decision to have cochlear implant surgery which would allow her to hear for the first time in her life.

Every day since then has become a journey of discovery – from hearing the Beatles and Rolling Stones for the first time to finally being able to put a voice to the familiar sight of her own mother.

She said: “I’m still in shock now. I have to learn to recognise what these sounds are as I build a sound library in my brain.

“Hearing things for the first time is so emotional from the ping of a light switch to running water.”

Jo has also found time to write an autobiography, Breaking the Silence, published by Hodder & Stoughton.

Jo’s talk is on Thursday October 8 at the Town Hall, University of Warwick Stage

Tickets £8. Tel 0844 880 8094

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