Jacquie C. lost her hearing because of CMV. Her parents learned about all their options when Jacquie’s hearing loss was diagnosed as profound and made the decision for her to hear with a cochlear implant. See how grateful Jacquie is for that decision to hear they made for her:
“My name is Jacquie and I lost my hearing when I was young. My mother was exposed to cytomegalovirus (CMV) when she was pregnant with me and my twin brother, Stephen. CMV is a common virus that most people don’t know they have. If a woman gets the CMV infection during pregnancy, it can be passed on to their baby with varying effects.
In my case, it affected my hearing. When Stephen and I were born, we had the newborn hearing screening, which is only a pass or fail test. It does not show different degrees of hearing loss, so it was not until five and a half months later that my hearing loss was identified as profound. After my hearing loss was diagnosed, I started wearing hearing aids.
My mom began talking to other families about other hearing loss treatments, most of whom had success with Cochlear’s cochlear implants, so she trusted their research and opinions. My parents made the decision for me to hear, and I had my cochlear implant surgery at 21 months on my right ear. At 22 months, I was activated and started wearing my first sound processor. I started with the processor known as the CochlearTM SPrintTM Sound Processor, and now after several upgrades, I wear the Nucleus® 6 and the Kanso® Sound Processors.
The cochlear implant surgery was done on my right ear because the option to do both ears was not available at the time. With the left ear not included in the surgery, I have grown up with hearing from one side and had help from my mom with learning speech and how to communicate with others listening with one implant.
I went to a public school with my twin brother and played all the sports I wanted to, from softball, basketball, soccer, to the one sport that stuck, volleyball. I have played volleyball since I was 9 years old, through high school and two years into a community college. I could hear my teammates when they called for the ball or when we celebrated! I was a setter and defensive player; I enjoyed every minute and loved the fact that I could enjoy the experience like my teammates. My parents were always there cheering me on at every game too!
I love to use the True WirelessTM Phone Clip accessory with my Nucleus 6 and Kanso Sound Processors1. The Phone Clip connects your cell phone to your processor. I constantly use it during my workouts, in the gym or outside, listening to my music because earphones do not work for me. I also use it when I have important calls to make sure I can hear everything the other person is saying.
Another cool accessory that I have is the Aqua+2, a waterproof case for the cochlear implant sound processor, that gives me opportunities to hear my friends when we go swimming. Also, when I took trips or lived in my college dorm, and I did not want to take my sound processor off in community showers, the Aqua+ covered my sound processor in the shower and I was able to hear what was going on outside of my shower. And now, living alone in my own apartment, I sometimes keep it on to make sure alarms don’t go off or when someone comes over. While I primarily use my Nucleus 6 Sound Processor (the behind-the-ear option), I love being able to wear my Kanso Sound Processor (the off-the-ear option) whenever I have a cool up-do hairstyle or when I wear headbands that go behind my ears.
Another cool thing is my sister, Lisa, is now an audiologist who gets to MAP my implant and teaches me about my accessories and new technology. She also the one who introduced me to the Kanso Sound Processor when it was released about three years ago and absolutely love it!
I am currently at the University of Memphis completing my undergrad in dietetics, getting ready for my masters. I live in my own apartment right off campus. My future goal is to have a master’s in environmental nutrition and use my minor in research. I hope to be able to travel and meet new people throughout my career. Having access to sound through my implant has allowed me to live on my own and to work in the career field that I want to.
Lastly, thank you to my parents for everything they have done for me and their decision for me to hear. I have been blessed with an amazing family and support system that encourage me to do anything I set my mind to. I wanted to share my story because I want people to know anything is possible, that the decision to get a cochlear implant helps us to hear. Those of us who are deaf learn to have a different perspective on how we hear things, and I believe it is a great option for parents who are thinking about getting one for their children.”
If you are making the decision to hear for your child, get more information about cochlear implants today.
- For sound processor compatibility information, visit https://www.cochlear.com/compatibility
- 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.