Sophie J. and Jacob J. were both born with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Their mom, Emily J., shares their journey from diagnosis, cochlear implantation to activation day. See how these siblings with Cochlear Implants enjoy hearing with both their Kanso® and Nucleus 7® Sound Processors.

Jacob - child with Cochlear ImplantsSophie - child with Cochlear Implants“Sophie and Jacob were both born with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. They were first diagnosed with moderate hearing loss, but as time passed, we learned they have a profound hearing loss.

This new news prompted us to seek care at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. We met two audiologists May 4, 2017 and they suggested we return for another booth test, a speech evaluation, sedated CT scan, sedated MRI and sedated hearing tests for each child to see if they were cochlear implant candidates. The next Monday I spoke with their scheduler five or so times to coordinate most of the tests.

On May 22, 2017, we made the three-and-a-half-hour drive to stay for the week. On May 23, we had appointments all day, and the kids got new, more powerful hearing aids to hopefully provide them with some sound until surgery.

We had the CT scans and MRIs on May 24, 2017. Sophie did so amazing with her CT and didn’t need to be sedated! Jacob needed sedation for a short time for his CT because he wanted to look around a lot. The MRIs required IVs and for the kids to be put under for about an hour. Everything went great, but they were VERY, VERY cranky when they woke up, and we dealt with crying and screaming for about two hours until we finally got them to rest.

On June 30, 2017, the kids needed to have sedated ABRs (auditory brainstem response). In the past, the ABR through our local ENT showed moderate to severe hearing loss, which doesn’t seem to match with what we’d been seeing. The results of these tests were that Sophie and Jacob had ‘no useable hearing.’ This meant that traditional forms of amplification (hearing aids) would never benefit them.

We decided cochlear implants would be the best option for our children to hear. We scheduled both their surgeries on the same day, August 7, 2017; they were implanted the same day, both bilaterally. The first week post-op, the kids did great. They were back to normal within three days.

Hearing together

Siblings with cochlear implantsThey were also activated on the same day, September 7, 2017. They got the Kanso Sound Processors that day, and on October 5, 2017, they got their Nucleus 7 Sound Processors.

We chose Cochlear based on the technology and customer service. We are a family that loves to be in the water and go on vacations near water. The option for the Aqua+* accessory, as well as the Kanso devices are what really sold us. We like the flexibility of having an on-the-ear and off-the-ear processor.

Our daughter loves wearing her Kanso devices, and we just had her start wearing the Nucleus 7 Sound Processors and she really likes them too. The Nucleus 7 devices are so light and thin that I don’t think she even notices they’re on. The kids wear two of the hair clips on each Kanso device, so if it comes off, it just swings back on. Jacob, who is 2 years old, has been walking more since implantation and responding to noises gradually.

As a family, we love swimming, playing on the playground, doing somersaults and traveling. Having the Aqua+ for their Nucleus 7 devices were wonderful for our vacation to the Wisconsin Dells in November. It was exciting to see them hear the noises of a waterpark for the first time.

As time goes on, we’re looking forward to both children learning to speak and read. We are hoping that they’ll be able to go to mainstream school at some point in their educational careers and be able to lead full lives, free from any complications or issues.

We also received the results of our youngest child’s ABR, and we have her scheduled for bilateral implantation on January 11, 2018. We’ll soon have three members of our family part of the Cochlear Family.”

If your child has been diagnosed with hearing loss, visit IWantYouToHear.com to learn about the treatment options available for them to hear.

*The Kanso Sound Processor with the Kanso Aqua+ is water resistant to level IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. This Kanso water protection only applies when used with LR44 alkaline or nickel metal hydride disposable batteries. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is water resistant to level IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. This Nucleus 7 water protection only applies when you use a Cochlear Standard Rechargeable Battery Module or Cochlear Compact Rechargeable Battery Module.
Renee Oehlerking
Renee Oehlerking is the Public Relations Manager at Cochlear Americas where she is responsible for the region’s public relations and consumer marketing social media. Renee enjoys uncovering, telling and showcasing the inspiring stories of hearing implant recipients. As a recent transplant to Denver, Colorado, Renee enjoys exploring all that the state has to offer outdoors.