How Deaf is Lou Ferrigno? Let’s find out. Some people are not as strong as they seem. Achilles’ heels exist all around us. Amazingly, Incredible Hulk’s Lou Ferrigno had lost almost all of his hearing power as a toddler.
The reason behind the unfortunate incident was an ear infection. That was the cochlear implant that restored his hearing power to some extent.
Lou Ferrigno spent his early life with the cumbersome burden of being deaf. That deafness started from a very early age and remained with him as he turned 69. At the ripe age of 69, Ferrigno got leverage through a cochlear implant. Better late than never!
Also, make sure to check out my post on How Deaf Was Edison And What Is The Cause?
Before that, Ferringo spent his time wearing hearing aids and attending lip reading classes to be able to comprehend communication. Nevertheless, this daily drill was not much easier for him. Let’s find out the pain of Incredible Hulk in his very own words.
“It has been an uphill task for me. The deafness affected my speech, work, and whole life”.
How Deaf Is Lou Ferrigno? Is It Blessing In Disguise?
Ferrigno’s deafness was a living example of a blessing in disguise. His peers bullied him for his speech impediment. Ferrigno took this challenge on the chin and dove into the comic books of that zeitgeist. That time, the Hulk and Spiderman were ruling the roost.
Ferrigno defines this dilemma in his own words,
“I wanted to be strong enough to defend myself.”
This defensive thinking led him to opt for a bodybuilding career.
Ferrigno deemed bodybuilding the best sport to keep the bullies a mile away. He describes his experience as,
“Bodybuilding turned around my life and determination. I may have resorted to drugs. It’s all about a positive approach and that nobody could do for me except for myself.”
The Incredible Hulk
In the early 70s, Ferrigno trained with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Their gym rivalry spread to the box office. As the dad of three kids, Ferrigno had to put in extra efforts to win the cast in “The Incredible Hulk.” Rest, as they say, is history.
The acting career was not a rosy path for Ferrigno.
“I had to pay special attention to reading lips. I never wanted to earn sympathy from my peers. My performance should be on par,” he says.
Ferrigno often had to wear two hearing ads instead of one. He did it to maximize the hearing. We wanted to be spot-on.
A Hidden Innocent Hulk
There is a soft hulk hidden deep inside the rough-looking Incredible Hulk. Ferrigno used many hearing ads for decades, but his hearing continued to decline by that time.
The only Panacea left was cochlear, which required a short surgery.
To the utmost surprise, Ferrigno was scared of surgery. He said no, and that NO was a big one!
One day, the world knew that the Incredible Hulk had been convinced to get the cochlear treatment.
Amazingly, again this was not because of his grit. A friend who had experienced the same cochlear implant in the near past successfully convinced Ferrigno. He told him that that surgery was going to be just a formality. It was an open-and-shut case at best.
Ferrigno defines this change of heart in his own words,
“When I knew a friend of mine had done this. I thought, why not me. I should get better as life gets frustrated due to not hearing things properly.”
The general surgery was just an hour outpatient procedure. But, it terrified Ferrigno – Incredible Hulk.
The day the cochlear implant was activated was remarkable and memorable for Ferrigno. He burst out in tears. He mumbled during weeping,
“I had to wait three to four hours to hear it working. By then, I was completely deaf, hoping against hope every passing day.”
After implantation, the hearing capacity of Ferrigno increased from 15% to 65%. The improvement is fantastic. He is ambitious about his future objectives. In his own words,
“My hearing is improving. I have told my doctor that I will get it up to 85% clarity soon.”
The life of Lou Ferrigno is topsy-turvy at best. Nevertheless, this Incredible Hulk stood steadfast against all the odds. He is up and kicking!
Ferrigno has given us a lifelong lesson that a weakness can be exploited positively to prove to the world.
Yes! I can, and I did.