A BUSINESSMAN who feared his career would be ended by a brain tumour wants other people to enjoy the kind of support that helped him launch his next venture.

Mike Lammas lost much of his hearing after a brain operation and still suffers pain which he likens to a permanent migraine.

But the 41-year-old who worked as an audio-visual consultant, went on to set up a business that trains other people in the use of AV and digital signage.

Mr Lammas, whose work included the digital signage on Bournemouth Pier, was 27 when he developed what was thought to be a painful ear infection. “When they opened me up, they found a lump in there,” he said.

The operations left him with around five per cent hearing in his left ear and 30-40 per cent in his right. He also walks with a stick.

“Each time my health deteriorated, I lost more and more of my hearing. When you’re in audio-visual, hearing is quite important,” he said.

“I went through a period where I was having to think: What career can I do when I lose my hearing completely? I come from a very technical background and it was the only thing I could do.”

Given training by Poole council and appointed a digital champion, he went on to found Ferndown-based Train AV, one of a handful of businesses of its kind in the UK.

He was supported by Dorset’s SAMEE charity, founded by Sam Everard, which set up a pilot project called the Disabled Entrepreneurs Business Start-up Service.

“There’s not a lot of help for people to go to work when you’re disabled. Most of it comes from charities. There are a lot of disabled people that are very nervous about going for their dream because of their disability,” he said.

He avoids relying on technological aids for communicating, but has become a proficient lipreader. He said travelling abroad could be difficult, as people who learned English as a second language can have very different mouth movements.

“When I’m in Europe, I like to take someone with me or have an interpreter that’s a natural English speaker,” he said.

His wife Cassandra is a director of his company and they have three daughters and a son. “It’s hard for me to do things like play football with my son but I will always try,” he said.

He wants to see more support to help people with disabilities reach their full potential, rather than just get into any job they can do.

“People want to go out to work. They want to live a normal life as much as possible. I hate that expression but it’s the closest there is. It’s all about working with the person with a disability,” he said.

“There are charities out there like SAMEE that will give advice. You can have such a fulfilling life and it’s about you make things work for you.”