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Sharing Stories

Karlee’s Story

Watching my daughter entranced by the Nutcracker ballet is a dream come true. Thanks to Karlee’s cochlear implant, she is able to not only enjoy the beauty of the ballerinas but is also able to appreciate the beautiful music being performed.

Karlee was born deaf in her left ear. Around a year of age, Karlee stopped babbling and started to withdraw into a world of visual stimulation. She spent her days doing puzzles and looking at books. She no longer seemed to enjoy any of the musical toys that she had previously loved. Suspecting that she had lost the hearing in her other ear, we took her to a local ENT doctor. The doctor told us that her hearing was fine in her right ear and that she was just being a toddler ignoring her parents. After much prodding, an ABR (auditory brainstem response test) was performed and it was determined that Karlee had lost her hearing in her right ear also. She was now profoundly deaf in both ears.

We immediately fitted Karlee with hearing aids and began receiving services from the local Area Education Agency. It was determined that the hearing aids were not doing her any good so we decided to look into getting her a cochlear implant. 

Karlee received her implant at age two. We were warned that the implant may only give Karlee environmental hearing such as a car horn. The implant has far exceeded those expectations. Karlee is now 9 years old and can hear at near normal levels. Her speech is very good and does well in her local mainstream school. She is involved in dance, swimming, soccer and basketball. Karlee particularly enjoys listening, singing and dancing to any type of music. Thanks to her cochlear implant, she is also able to use the telephone to talk with her school friends without any additional technological assistance. Her cochlear implant has opened up doors for Karlee that she may never have been able to pursue without it.

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Resources What is a cochlear implant?  What does insurance typically cover?  What are the ongoing costs?  Connect to our Resources page to view the only online clearinghouse of up-to-date cochlear implant information. CLICK HERE FOR RESOURCES
Recycling Have cochlear implant equipment or batteries that you can't use?  Could you use recycled equipment?  Connect to our Trash to Treasure page to learn about  your options. RECYCLE HERE
Reassurance Do you feel alone?  Do you want to communicate with people who understand?  Connect to our Community page, where cochlear-implant recipients and their families share stories and experiences. JOIN OUR COMMUNITY HERE
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