Cochlear technology has evolved significantly since Graeme Clark developed the first multi-channel cochlear implant in 1978. What hasn’t changed is Cochlear’s lifetime commitment to its recipients, to provide them with the support they need to “Hear now. And always”.

Meet Pat, a Cochlear recipient whose hearing journey is a testament to this lifetime commitment.

Pat was born with full hearing and lived a life of sound until 1981, when she was 34 years old. With no warning or explanation, she lost her hearing completely over a three-day period. Doctors later attributed her hearing loss to a viral infection.

She lived without sound for three years before her husband saw a television program about cochlear implants. After contacting her doctor, Pat was referred to a specialist who had just begun to perform cochlear implant surgery.

In an email interview, Pat wrote that she decided to get the cochlear implant because she hoped it would help her to hear as she balanced a full-time job and two children at home.

“I felt like I was missing so much of life in general, and was always asking someone to repeat things or write them down,” she wrote. “I figured if I could benefit (with) some hearing it would be better than what I had.”

Upon finding out that she was eligible for the procedure, Pat received a cochlear implant in April 1987.

“I was told after surgery that I was number eight to receive an implant and that I was the first person in North Dakota to receive one,” Pat wrote.

Now, with her Nucleus 6 for N22, Pat says she loves being able to hear what matters most.

“My favorite sounds now are hearing family members, birds singing, loons on the lake, music, (and) basically everything,” she wrote.

She added that having a Cochlear Implant, “makes me feel alive again,” and she doesn’t miss out on the important sounds in her day-to-day life.

Her advice to others considering a cochlear implant is to pursue it because it can bring sound back into their lives.

“If you are deaf, or know someone who is, the implant can change your life, and I would strongly recommend having the surgery,” Pat wrote.

Interested in learning more about Cochlear Implants? Click here to read about the latest options for those with hearing loss.

*Views expressed by Cochlear recipients and hearing health providers are those of the individual. Consult your hearing health provider to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology. Outcomes and results may vary.

Skylar Mason

As a journalism student, Baha recipient, and Anders Tjellström Scholarship winner, Skylar is excited to join the team at Cochlear as an intern to tell the stories of other CI and Baha recipients! She attends the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.