I was born in July 1937 and my mother was 39 years of age, and according to the doctors of the day, that is why I was born without a left ear, just a lump of flesh where the ear should be. No channel to where the inner ear should be and apparently no nerve (thus no implant possible).
When I started school at the age of 5, I was constant fun of, and unfortunately, was usually sent to the back of the classroom where I could not hear what was going on. My parents were able through our local GP (Dr.Gordon), to be put in touch with James Cecil Hogg at the Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, Golden Square, Picadilly, London. He agreed to help give me an ear, but suggested waiting until I was 9 or 10 years of age before doing so.
No operation of this nature had ever been carried out before in world history.
On the 10th May 1947, Mr. Hogg duly operated on me, making a hole through what was solid bone which he also champhered to make a sound board. Some how he had made an ear. To this day I do not know if plastic was involved, or some other form of tissue. He took skin from my left thigh and grafted it around the new ear and into the channel. In other words, he made me look like a normal boy. He made medical history and gave me a “life”.
I have always felt that not enough credit was given to him for what was ground breaking medical science. I am eternally grateful to him for what he did for me. It was a first. Although I could not get into the Navy, which was what I had hoped for, I did eventually manage to get into the Police Force and have a 25 year career, retiring as an Inspector, to become Ordained as a Minister in the United Reformed Church. None of which would have been possible, but for the brilliance of Cecil Hogg.
There was an article in The Times, 7th August, 1973; Brit. med. J. 1973, 3, 413 but there was no mention of his wonderful work in the field of helping those with Microtia. Mind you there were not many cases in those days.
I feel proud to have known Sir Cecil Hogg as he became. He was my friend (I saw him regularly for 6 years) and that he made medical history by operating on me. I was very sad when he died. I thought that someone ought to place on record what he did for me. When the hospital at Golden Square became NHS in 1948. All of Cecil Hoggs records of my operation were destroyed. As you can imagine, he was furious and he had to try and remember all that he had done. Every time I visited him at the hospital he would have a group of medical students come and have a look at my new ear. It gave me about 95% efficiency of hearing until I was about 35 years of age, but I am now deaf almost totally on my left side. As I say I have had a “life” that would not have been possible but for Cecil Hogg.