Kristen S. looks back on her son’s life with Cochlear™ Implants. After Kevin failed his newborn hearing screening, Kristen, eager to give him access to sound, got him bilateral Cochlear Implants. Now, Kevin is on his swim team, is an avid skier and does many school and after-school activities. See why Kristen is excited for his limitless future:


Kevin who failed his newborn hearing screening“My son, Kevin, is 12 years old and has bilateral Cochlear Implants and started with the Cochlear Nucleus® Freedom® Sound Processors. He was born in California before they adopted universal newborn hearing screening, but we were fortunate that the hospital where he was born had implemented the screening test 2 weeks prior to his arrival.

Hearing journey beginnings

There was some confusion with his hearing failing coupled with an early misdiagnosis; therefore, he was not confirmed deaf until six months of age. By that time, we had suspected that something was ‘off’ with his hearing and already researched cochlear implants. Multiple months after his diagnosis, he was bilaterally implanted and was activated one month later. His hearing journey began then!

Kevin, who failed his newborn hearing screening, swimmingWe chose Cochlear because, at the time, they had the smallest baby worn device on the market. My mom sewed little pockets in to each of Kevin’s shirts and the battery packs fit snugly in them. Eventually, after his ears grew larger, he was able to wear the Nucleus Freedom Sound Processors behind his ears. Five years later, we upgraded to the Cochlear Nucleus 5 Sound Processors and were blown away with the size difference compared to his old ones. Just this year, our son upgraded to the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 7 Sound Processors and once again, we are amazed at not only the size difference, but also the added technology.

An active life

Kevin is an active 12-year-old seventh grader. He is an excellent student and loves to read! His hearing loss definitely does not hold him back. Due to the incredible gift of Cochlear Implants, he has been able to participate in every activity as his hearing peers.

He has played many sports over the years, but is currently playing volleyball and swimming on a swim team. The Aqua+* kit allows him to hear the coaches during practice, chat with friends during swim meets and start on time with the buzzer during swim races. We live in a very hot area, so the Aqua+ kit is used daily during the summer with the constant pool use.

Skiing success

Kevin, who has cochlear implants after failed newborn hearing screening, skiing

One of Kevin’s favorite winter activities is to snow ski. I love being able to talk to him on the chairlift through his helmet and be able to tell him which route to go as he is zooming ahead of me!

We discovered an added bonus about his Nucleus 7 Sound Processors this year. Because the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is smaller and sits a bit differently on his ear, this was the first year we were able to put a ski helmet on his head on the first try without a headband and without knocking off the processors. It was amazing how easy the helmet just slipped on his head! He also loves to play in the snow after a day of skiing. Knowing that the processors already have a good water resistant rating on their own brings us comfort that they can handle a day in the snow followed by a massive snowball fight!

Kevin also is active in Boy Scouts and has taken numerous camping trips. He switches to the disposable batteries when he is camping. He also participates in Destination Imagination and his team came in first place at the State Tournament, which qualified him for the Global Final competition in Knoxville, Tennessee. Kevin also plays the alto saxophone for his school band. He does not miss a beat due to his Sound Processors.

Favorite features of the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor

Kevin with Cochlear Implants after failed newborn hearing screeningKevin’s favorite feature about the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is the Bluetooth® connectivity to his iPhone®. He loves the fact that he can answer his phone directly to his implant or listen to videos with direct audio streaming. His friends think he has the coolest ‘gadget’ around!

We are so thankful for Cochlear and the technology of Kevin’s implants. It is exciting to think about the possibilities for what the future holds. There have been so many changes in the past 12 years and I cannot imagine what the next 12 will bring! I do know that due to Cochlear Implants, Kevin’s hearing loss will never hold him back!!!”

Did you just find out your child failed their newborn hearing screening? Read about Cochlear Implants and learn about a solution to give them a future of possibilities.

*The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor with Aqua+ and Aqua+ Coil is water resistant to level IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529 when you use a Cochlear Standard Rechargeable Battery Module or Cochlear Compact Rechargeable Battery Module. Refer to the relevant User Guide for more information.
The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Cochlear is under license.
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The Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. For compatibility information, visit
The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.
To use the Nucleus Smart App for Android, your device will need to run Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or later and support Bluetooth 4.0 or later. For a list of verified devices visit Android, Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.
Cara Lippitt
Cara Lippitt is the Public Relations and Marketing Manager at Cochlear Americas. She is responsible for consumer marketing social media and blog content. Cara is inspired by the stories of the recipients that she is able to tell and the incredible journeys they have taken. Cara was born and raised in Colorado and adores the mountains, snow and the world of musical theatre.