Kaele M.’s daughter, Josie, a child born premature, went through so much in her young life before her parents learned she also had hearing loss. Never having a family member afflicted with hearing loss, Kaele and her husband were thrown into a new world, considering hearing options for their child. Looking back on her decision to choose cochlear implants and watching Josie thrive, Kaele knows she made the right choice:

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“My little Josie was born severely premature. She was born at 25 weeks and three days and weighed 1lb  8oz, along with her twin brother, Kyson. Just 18 days after they were born, we lost Kyson. Josie stayed in the NICU for 143 days, and while in the hospital she took her hearing test. She failed the first one and they said they would come back and test her again just in case she wasn’t having it that day. She then failed her second one, and we were referred to our saving grace, Hearts for Hearing in Oklahoma City.

Child born premature, cheerleading with her cochlear implantsShe failed multiple auditory brainstem response (ABR) tests and was diagnosed with auditory neuropathy. We decided to go ahead with hearing aids, and after a year, we decided it wasn’t what she needed to improve her hearing. We don’t have any hearing loss in our families, so this was all very foreign to us, but we wanted what was best for our child to communicate with us.

A hard decision for Josie

Child born premature, thriving with her cochlear implantsIt was a very hard decision for us. She had already been through so much in her little life that we were not wanting her to go through another surgery. We began talking with the audiologist and her speech therapist and the best option was to go with cochlear implants. She received her implants in September 2013 at age 3. Josie was activated with her CochlearTM Nucleus® 6 Sound Processors, and she has never turned back.

The activation was very hard on her. It wasn’t like the videos you see online about the happy outcomes. Josie cried and was so overwhelmed with what she was hearing, but it was definitely the best decision we have made. We now have the Kanso® Sound Processors, and she loves them.

Josie today

Child born premature with her Aqua+ kitsJosie is a very active little girl, and she loves to play outside. She is in t-ball, cheerleading and  gymnastics. She loves to go swimming and to the lake and beach as much as we can.1 Josie uses the True WirelessTM Mini Microphone with all her activities, and we have had excellent coaches that are very accepting of it. Josie doesn’t let her hearing loss define her. She is very good at telling her friends that the blinking lights on her head are her ‘super ears;’ and if they aren’t blinking green, she can’t hear you!

Child born premature with her Kanso Sound ProcessorsAs for the future for Josie and what I hope for her… I hope she stays as spunky and active as she is now. I hope she is able to tell her friends the whole process of her ‘super ears.’ I hope that she continues to do all the activities, and she knows she isn’t limited on what she wants to do just because she has hearing loss aided with cochlear implants. Josie is my world, and I will forever be grateful for the technology that Cochlear Americas is creating for people with hearing loss to be able to hear the beauty in the world.”

If your child was born premature and suffers from hearing loss, visit IWantYouToHear.com for more information on options available to help your child hear.

  1. The Nucleus 6 Sound Processors with Aqua+ and Aqua+ Coil are 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 Nucleus Aqua+ for Kanso is IP68 rated and approved for use with alkaline and nickel metal hydride batteries. The Nucleus Kanso Sound Processor is water-resistant without the Nucleus Aqua+ for Kanso accessory to level IP54 of the International Standard IEC60529
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.