‘I had to kind of pave the way.’


Dr Bethany Fiskum. Image: WLWT5

An American pharmacist is speaking out to inspire other deaf people to follow their dreams – and for hearing people to include them

Dr Bethany Fiskum spoke to WLWT5’s Victoria Ottomanelli about how the childhood illness which took her hearing inspired her to help people.

She became ill with spinal meningitis at age two.

“It was without a doubt that the medical profession really saved my life when I was two,” she told WLWT5.

“In my world, there’s just not very many deaf pharmacists, so I might be the first one in the country that actually got my doctorate.

“So I had to kind of pave the way.

“I see things that probably other people don’t see, just because I don’t have my hearing sense the way others do.”

Dr Fiskum told the station that far from living in a very quiet world, she lives in one which contains a great deal of “visual noise”.

Dr Fiskum usually communicates via sign language, but also in writing with her hearing customers who don’t understand the language.

She called on hearing people to help deaf people feel included in every aspect of life, saying “we like to be involved just as much as you do”.  

“Deaf people can do anything. Don’t let it limit or define you in any way.”

Watch the full interview here.

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