People with hearing loss may find that silence isolates them from family and friends. Fortunately, a cochlear implant can help bring back the sounds needed to connect with loved ones in new, exciting ways.
Meet Margo, a bilateral Nucleus® 6 recipient. She said the gift of sound has allowed her to hear and connect with her children and grandchildren, bringing her “pure joy.”
Watch as she shares her remarkable story:
A strange world
Margo said she lost much of her hearing in a car accident when she was two years old.
“After that they noticed that I had no hearing in my left ear,” she said. “And a mild loss in my right.”
In 1977, when she was 25, she contracted a virus in her right ear.
“Within two months I lost all of my hearing in that ear, which left me totally deaf,” Margo said. “I was very fortunate that I had a very loving and supportive family, but it was difficult.”
Margo’s husband, Dan, said she had a hard time adjusting to life without sound.
“It was a strange world for her,” he said. “She was very unhappy, did not like being deaf.”
Margo would volunteer at her children’s elementary school, but she felt like she wasn’t able to experience everything.
“I would go to band concerts and not hear,” she said.
She lived in a very silent world for 11 years, until 1989, when she received her first Cochlear™ Implant.
“It was a family affair because my young children were great at saying, ‘Mom, do you hear this? Mom, do you realize there’s an airplane overhead?’” Margo recalled.
Her daughter Sarah remembers how excited Margo would get when she heard certain sounds for the first time.
“Her being so joyful at simple sounds that even as a five-year-old seemed kinda silly,” Sarah said. “You know, like Mom is just finding joy out of the toilet flushing in the bathroom.”
Now, Margo has bilateral Cochlear Implants and said she loves being able to hear her whole family.
“When my children were young, my world was silent,” Margo said. “And now with my grandchildren, I’m hearing them. I’ve been given a second chance to hear my children’s children.”
She said she recently attended her grandson’s sixth grade band concert. She described the experience as “pure joy.”
“It truly was just a night of thankfulness that truly never gets old for me,” Margo said. “Even all these 28 years later, there are still special cochlear implant moments that will live in my memory forever.”
In addition to connecting with her family and friends, Margo volunteers to share her story and help others.
“I’ve received such a great gift with this gift of sound that how could I not want to be able to spread awareness so that other people … have that opportunity to learn about cochlear implants and how people like myself can benefit from them,” she said.
Margo added that the gift of connecting with people goes both ways.
“I get as much from the people I’ve met as they do from me,” she said.
Reflecting on her hearing journey, Margo said she appreciates Cochlear’s lifetime commitment.
“The cool part is that I have told people for years is that my body has continued to age, but my cochlear implant ears are going to be forever young,” she said. “So my future, I feel, is very bright.”