For family day care coordinator and Barkers Vale resident, Wendy, a cochlear implant has been life changing.
“Throughout my twenties and thirties I was passionate about dancing and music and was regularly exposed to loud music. My ears would ring for hours after music events,” said Wendy. “By my late thirties I noticed that I was not hearing well and eventually had my hearing tested. I was shocked to discover that I had considerable hearing loss.
“The news was devastating as I was always the life of the party and enjoyed meeting new people. I found myself gradually withdrawing from people and dreading social occasions. I was often the brunt of jokes with people who did not know me well because I mistook what they were saying. You cannot physically see hearing loss, so often the perception was that I just wasn’t listening.”
A new round of assessments found that Wendy’s hearing had deteriorated.
“18 months ago my hearing levels plummeted,” said Wendy. “I was told that my best option for increasing my hearing was a cochlear implant and I was referred to SCIC Cochlear Implant Program in Lismore.
“My surgeon, Associate Professor Catherine Birman, was excellent at explaining what to expect. She is such a caring down to earth person; I had every confidence in her. Ten days after my switch on I could hear birds, blinkers, and the tinging of the spoon in a teacup – I had forgotten that sound! It was life changing. My cochlear implant is my new best friend.
“The best thing is listening to the radio again and talking to my husband in the car. Things are getting clearer and more natural every day. SCIC Cochlear Implant Program staff have been fabulous, I have received so much support. The surgeons, audiologists and the technicians are making miracles every day – I am very blessed to be able to use this incredible technology!”
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.