Rose wore hearing aids for many years after being diagnosed with a severe to profound hearing loss as a young child. Years later, after a drop in hearing, Rose became isolated after her hearing aids alone were no longer enough. Read her story, as she has written, to see how Rose gained the confidence to return to her painting and creative efforts, even with her hearing loss, after receiving a cochlear implant:

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“My journey as a hearing-impaired person began when it was discovered I had a severe to profound hearing loss at 3 ½ years old before a tonsillitis operation. The attending ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT)  noticed that I was not responding to voices. He tested me on the spot with a tuning fork and he determined I had hearing loss.

From my toddler years all throughout a mainstreamed education in public local schools and in college, I wore more and more powerful hearing aids. Each new model of hearing aids got stronger. In my later years I suffered an ear infection that wiped out my left ear’s hearing so strongly that I was suffering emotionally and mentally from the isolation and frustration of not being able to hear in groups. I was not able to attend my club and hobby meetings and became increasingly isolated and more and more withdrawn.

Looking into an alternative hearing solution

Rose, an artist with hearing loss, who got cochlear implantsAfter months and months of this unpleasant existence, I decided to look further into another way to get my hearing back. I did some updated research and consulted with local hearing health practitioners and was working through my apprehension and concerns about the actual surgery. I reached out to a seminar that was held locally and met the local engagement person. She gave me information packets and I took my time to really read up on it thoroughly.

I did investigate other companies but settled on Cochlear for the reason that I felt that they are much more established in this region than the others and had more of a presence in the marketplace. The most compelling impetus for me was also the advanced technology with the iPhone®12 and Nucleus® Smart App, to be used as a remote controller and fine tuner tool. I was also aware of the excellent customer service and felt that the responsiveness was there for the lifetime long haul; should I need further services and assistance.

Getting cochlear implants was worth the process

I have been implanted now for about two and a half years and I can for me, say that it was all worth the process. I have grown my independence by leaps and bounds. My independence on the use of the cell phone has been astronomical. I am astounded by my ability to take care of about 95 percent of my calls on the cell phone through the streaming technology. However, my speech discrimination on the cell phone was not immediate for me. I had to work hard on my aural rehab with Angel Sounds and Audible3 books simultaneously with the same book title in book form to read together. That rehab effort was so worth it, hands down. It all clicked together after 11 months of this aural rehab effort.

As for the accessories, I use most of them. I have not used the Aqua+4 Kit yet, but I enjoy the True Wireless™ TV Streamer very much for watching Netflix and other programming. I love and enjoy various YouTube5 tutorials. I can control the various tones, volume and sensitivities with the iPhone. Having the various controls enables me to manipulate the sound quality to my best options. I feel this is the most major and most beneficial bonus of the Cochlear products.

Getting back to doing what I love

Rose, an artist with hearing loss, painting

After about a year, I slowly was able to go back to my community club meetings with enjoyment of the social arena. It improved my mental health to be able to socialize without so much difficulty. Most incredibly, now that we are in the midst of a pandemic, I am actually able to participate in Zoom calls and virtual communications with better streaming technology. I would not have had this level of success with just my hearing aids.

I would say that the cochlear implant is far more powerful than any hearing aids I have ever had. I most probably could have done this about ten years ago, had I realized the power of the cochlear implants over hearing aids.

Diving into painting

Last year, I was finally able to drum up the courage to take a painting workshop out of town and to have some peace of mind in driving myself to the workshop, knowing that, if needed, I could use my cell phone and hear the call. That was the most gratifying feeling in the world for me. I never had peace of mind as a deaf woman on the road. I feel I can call for help without walking to a call box with a TTY of the 80s and of my younger years. So much more is available to assist the hearing impaired now. I love the streaming quality and feel it has changed and improved the quality of my personal and professional efforts.

I am now a practicing fine artist and exhibit in shows and have won awards for my work. I have my own website at: http://www.rosemavis.com and my prints and other products can be found at rose-mavis.fineartamerica.com. I am moving towards a better manner of conducting my art business due to my newfound hearing abilities. It’s not totally perfect, but it is far better than it was with just my hearing aids. Hearing aids to me, sound like little tinny toys, compared to the robustness and high quality of my cochlear implant.

Beginning to explore music

Rose, an artist with hearing loss, with her painting, Pink Roses
Copyright 2020 Rose Mavis., Pink Roses

I am now just exploring music. Suddenly this seems possible for me to enjoy now. So, I have invested in an electronic keyboard with Bluetooth®6 to serve as something to play around with and truly try to work harder on fine tuning my listening skills, in a fun but structured way. I am hoping to have some success in getting music back into my life. I was forced to abandon the piano in the sixth grade and also abandon my clarinet in the fourth grade. Now, I wonder what is possible now, with my cochlear implant. The doors are opening, and I am excited to go further in this journey, by paying it forward as Cochlear volunteer.”

Are you looking to explore a new world of independence, like Rose, an artist with hearing loss has done? Learn more about cochlear implants here.

Rose Mavis won an award in the Forks Area Art Society’s Corona Quarantine Exhibit in May. Also, she has had her painting, Pink Roses accepted into the 25th Annual Art Ability 2020 Exhibition, a juried international show, at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital of Main Line Health at 414 Paoli Pike, Malvern, PA.The annual exhibit and sale will be on display at the hospital November 8, 2020 to January 2021. It will be open to the public based on current visitor policies, which can be found by visiting mainlinehealth.org or calling 484-596-5400.

  1. For information on sound processor and app compatibility, visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility
  2. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
  3. © Copyright 1997 – 2020 Audible Inc.
  4. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is water resistant to level 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 3 m (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.
  5. © 2020 Google Inc. All rights reserved. YouTube is a trademark of Google LLC.
  6. 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.
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.