boys smiling
circle pictures
gutter left
Sharing Stories

Betty’s Story

A Great Grandmother's story
By Betty Coombs

I was born in Brooklyn, New York February 12, 1919.  The youngest of three children and hard of hearing.  I was not diagnosed as hearing impaired for many years as there was so little that Doctors knew about hearing loss in those early days.  I went all through school depending on my lip reading skills and my ability to read at an early age. Finally, at age 19, after having graduated from high school, I purchased my first hearing aid.  That was a body aid with Chrystal batteries that would last for about 3 hours.

Over the years, I progressed from the body aid to the behind the ear with a crossover, always battling the whistling that occurred as soon as I turned up to volume to where I could hear something. The whistle didn't bother me as I couldn't hear it but it bothered all the people around me and I soon had the title of "Whistler's Grandmother".

In 2002, I was able to have a cochlear implant implanted in my head and life was suddenly very different. I was able to understand speech immediately and soon discovered that we live in a very noisy world. Hearing the environmental sounds, like birds, is a thrilling thing to me.  Learning the different bird calls is a goal for me.  Understanding what my great grandchildren are saying to me is so wonderful. I am grateful that I have lived long enough to experience the sounds of this world.

Betty Coombs


gutter right
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
laughing boy
logo
footer
Join  Receive email updates and information from CIAF
Support  Spread awareness and help families in need - Make a Donation
Shop Browse our products -  from buttons to t-shirts



Click to Print this Page