After being diagnosed with profound hearing loss as a newborn baby, Reagan’s parents knew that time was of the essence and determined that early cochlear implantation and the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor was the best option for their daughter. See why they say they would do it all over again:

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“When our daughter Ainsley was born, it was discovered that she had a moderate to severe hearing impairment that we later discovered was caused by the genetic condition known as the connexin 26 mutation. We knew when we were expecting our youngest daughter, Reagan, there would be a 25 percent chance of her having the same condition.

Reagan, who had early cochlear implantation, with her sister

We quickly learned she did also have the gene mutation and that her hearing loss was much more severe. In fact, she was profoundly deaf. Having seen the amazing impact of earlyintervention with our older daughter, we knew that we wanted to act quickly to get amplification for Reagan. This meant beginning our cochlear implant journey as soon as possible. Her doctors at our local hospital were ready to complete the cochlear implant surgery but due to delays with insurance approvals, it did not happen until she was 10 months old. At 11 months old, she had her activation appointment.

Activation day and learning speech and language

Reagan, who had early cochlear implantation, readingActivation day was full of emotions for us. We couldn’t wait to see those smiles we had seen in many of the activation videos we had previously seen. We did not have that experience. Reagan cried as she was scared and unsure of all the sounds she was hearing. Over the next several months, we worked closely with her audiologist to adjust her sound processors to acclimate her into the hearing world without it being overwhelming for her.

Within a month of activation, we got Reagan started in speech and language therapy, where the therapists first worked to teach her how to localize sounds. Over time they worked towards imitating and producing sounds, words and eventually sentences. At 3 years of age, she was evaluated with services with our local school system and began in the developmental preschool program two days a week. This meant she was now receiving speech and language services four days a week.

By Reagan’s 4th birthday, she graduated from her private speech and language services, which was a full year before her sister who graduated at 5. Her sister had hearing aid amplification from 1 month old and Reagan was not activated with her cochlear implant until 11 months old, yet she was able to graduate from her services a full year before when her sister did! We can attest firsthand how invaluable the early cochlear implantation and activation has been for Reagan, paired with her other interventions.

Choosing Cochlear and taking advantage of unique product features

A photo of Reagan, who had early cochlear implantation, with her sound processorsWe knew from the start of this journey with Reagan that we were going to choose Cochlear brand sound processors because at the time of her activation, the Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processors had just been approved and were going to be available just in time for Reagan’s activation. We wanted her to have access to the latest technology, especially the Bluetooth®1 and smartphone connectivity2. This has made the world so much more accessible to her. The Nucleus Smart App has made it so easy for us to adjust her processors and more importantly, to track where her processors are when they have been misplaced.

We chose to get a set of the Nucleus 7 Sound Processors as well as a set of the Kanso® Sound Processors. We liked the idea that with the Kanso Sound Processors, she would have an off-the-ear option. When she was younger, we did not use them as much because with headbands, the Nucleus 7 Sound Processors stayed in place much better. Now that she is acclimated to her processors and can better care for her processor needs, she uses the Kanso Sound Processors more. We love that both processors have water-safe34 options that allow her to continue to have access to sound while enjoying the swimming pool or water activities!

Reagan, who benefited from early cochlear implantation, nowAnytime we have had interactions with the Cochlear team, whether ordering supplies or when we needed repairs, we have had nothing but excellent service and support! Cochlear has done an amazing job of ensuring our family has been cared for and supported in this journey from day one.

Not only would our family recommend the use of Cochlear brand sound processors and the cochlear implant process; we would do it all over again if our other daughter Ainsley’s hearing loss someday progresses, making her a candidate.”

Was your child born with hearing loss? Learn more about how early cochlear implantation can help their speech and language development.

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  1. 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.
  2. For compatibility information, visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility.
  3. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is water resistant to level IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. This water protection means that the sound processor with the Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of 3 meters (9 ft and 9 in) for up to 2 hours. This water protection only applies when you use a Cochlear Standard Rechargeable Battery Module or Cochlear Compact Rechargeable Battery Module. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is water-resistant to level IP57 of the International Standard IEC60529 without the Aqua+ accessory for the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. This water protection rating means that the sound processor with the Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of up to 3 meters (9 feet and 9 inches) for up to 2 hours. The Aqua+ accessory should be used when participating in prolonged water activities.
  4. 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
  5. In the United States, the Cochlear Nucleus Implant System is approved for use in children 9 to 24 months of age who have profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and demonstrate limited benefit from appropriate hearing aids. Children 2 years of age or older may demonstrate severe to profound hearing loss in both ears. In Canada, the Cochlear Nucleus Implant System (CI500 and CI600 Series) is approved for use in children 9 to 24 months of age who have profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and demonstrate limited benefit from appropriate hearing aids. Children 2 years of age or older may demonstrate severe to profound hearing loss in both ears.
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.