For kindergarten teacher and Ettalong Beach resident, Victoria, a cochlear implant has been life changing. She received her first pair of hearing aids shortly after being diagnosed with hearing loss at three years of age.
“When I first started working as a teacher I definitely had to adapt – like making sure I could hear the evacuation alarm – but I was coping quite well,” said Victoria. “I previously hadn’t been considered a candidate for a cochlear implant – but then over the course of a year I started to find it difficult to hear in the classroom and it was leaving me pretty exhausted.”
A new round of assessments found that Victoria’s hearing had deteriorated.
“It was time for an implant,” said Victoria. “I had the surgery over the Christmas school holidays and was back to work in the New Year. I didn’t have high expectations as I didn’t want to be disappointed, but when my dad spoke to me I could understand what he was saying! I said, ‘Oh my goodness, I can hear the ‘S’ and ‘SH’ sound’ – I really hadn’t heard them well before.
“The surgery was a massive success. It’s amazing the things I can hear now – like the sound of the fridge! There are lots of amazing experiences and some hilarious ones too. Just the other week I leant too close to the whiteboard and my head stuck due to the implant’s magnet, the kids were in stiches!
“It’s been a long journey but it’s been worth it. The staff at SCIC Cochlear Implant Program in Gosford have been amazing – I can contact them at any time and ask them questions. In the classroom it’s made a huge difference. Previously I had to rush off early to meetings to make sure that I got a seat up front so I could lip read but now I don’t have to rush, I can sit at the back and still pick it all up!”
SCIC Cochlear Implant Program supports clients to access a range of implantable hearing devices according to their needs. The program provides support for life with a seamless, end-to-end suite of services, from early intervention and education; through to specialist assessment; surgical liaison and support; and re/habilitation services, delivering the highest level of care and support to people of all ages.
With 17 sites across Australia, RIDBC enables you to access services from any one of our centres. For those in regional and remote locations, our advanced videoconferencing and device mapping technology enables us to deliver services directly into your home, no matter where you live.
For more information about cochlear implants or SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, visit ridbc.org.au/scic or call 1300 658 981.
RIDBC is Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and cochlear implant services for people with hearing or vision loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.
RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in the lives of children and adults with vision or hearing loss.