HORSHAM woman Ruth McIntyre-Wooster is giving a helping hand to deaf people after gaining her hearing through a cochlear implant.
Ms McIntyre-Wooster had about three per cent of her hearing after going deaf in early childhood possibly because of measles.
She underwent a life-changing operation to install a 'bionic ear' in November last year.
Ms McIntyre-Wooster will publish a book charting the rollercoaster of emotions she has experienced since making the decision to enter a 'world of sound' two years ago.
She said she hoped the book would help people understand what it was like to be deaf and prepare people who were about to undergo the operation for life with sound.
"I wish I had a book to read from someone who had been through it, which is why I am doing this," she said.
"I need to get through to people what goes on because the whole process can be so stressful.
"It is a really traumatic experience and people just don't realise."
The hairdresser and mother of two said the prospect of being able to hear was terrifying.
"I had to do a test to see what sounds oh, ah and words I could hear to see whether I was eligible for the implant," she said.
"They said I failed the test and I was sobbing uncontrollably because I had never failed anything and it was quite destroying.
"They told me, 'Ruth, it is a good thing because that means you are eligible for the implant' but I was just so upset.
"I was used to a world of silence so I was terrified before the operation."
Ms McIntyre-Wooster said her rollercoaster ride had continued since the bionic ear was 'turned on' on November 28.
She said she was often scared of loud or unknown noises that would appear normal to most other people.
"When they turned me on I felt this sensation like something was crawling through my brain," she said.
"The first thing I heard when I got outside was bloody crows.
"I could never understand why people would bag them. But after hearing them now I can say 'bloody crows'.
"I can't believe how loud the washing machine and darn blow-drier are."
But Ms McIntyre-Wooster said she found pleasure in the simplest of noises, including birds chirping in the morning.
"My family sang Happy Birthday to me my birthday is Boxing Day and it was weird because I could actually hear them," she said.
"My mum called me darling the other day and I turned around and said 'you just called me darling' because she has such a pretty voice.
"It is about the little things hearing the kettle boil, the door shut, the blinkers in the car, water coming out of the tap or the dog barking."
After adjusting to life with sound, Ms McIntyre-Wooster is looking to conquer her next goal: learning how to sing.