“I had to tell my dad he was going to die, because he wasn’t given a sign language interpreter”

Sharing this story as it made me very sad. The terminally ill and dying need an advocate because communication problems are not limited only to the hearing-impaired. The family then must stay around the clock to speak for their loved ones.

The Limping Chicken

Matt Dixon is the only hearing person in his family. His parents, along with his brother Simon and sister Rebecca are deaf.

Being the only hearing person in the family, Matt had been used to interpreting English into sign language and vice-versa, but never before had he been asked to interpret on a matter of life or death.

It was Halloween 2008 and Matt received a text from his sister telling him that his father had collapsed and was in hospital. Matt dropped everything to be at the hospital as quickly as possible.

Matt’s father, Phillip, was kept in hospital for tests and eight days later, the results from a biopsy came in. A sign language interpreter was booked by the hospital for a meeting with the consultant so Phillip could learn first hand, and in private, the news that the consultant had to tell him.

Matt recalls that afternoon:…

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