My name is Nicole. My niece Chloe is almost 18 months old and has bilateral Cochlear implants. She was diagnosed at 5 1/2 months old with severe-profound sensorineural hearing loss that was hereditary. Chloe initially failed her newborn hearing screening, but later passed it at her first well-child check-up. At almost 4 months old her parents, Paul (my brother) and Candace, became concerned about the possibility of hearing loss, when Chloe did not wake up to the sound of a skill saw, which was running in the next room. Later that week at her 4 month check-up, these concerns were expressed to her pediatrician and a hearing test was performed. Chloe did not pass the screening and was referred to Children's Hospital where her hearing was further evaluated, again with the same results. On April 19, 2008, Chloe had tubes placed and ABR testing which revealed "at least severe hearing loss." About a month later, Chloe received her hearing aids, and again the news was not good. She had a delayed reaction to extremely loud sounds, which meant being aided by hearing aids alone would not allow her enough access to sounds to develop speech. She was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss.
With the diagnosis of profound hearing loss, our journey to cochlear implants began. Chloe was evaluated by the HEAR Center and she was soon a candidate for bilateral implants. Her surgery date was set for November 14, however in mid-October we received the news that her insurance company had denied payment for her second implant. Their reason: bilateral implants are not "medically necessary." That answer was not acceptable. The surgery date was rescheduled for December 8 and then December 15 to allow time to resubmit the claim. Meetings were attended, calls were made, but we were getting no where as the claim was again denied. FINALLY on December 10, after a trip to Montgomery to plead Chloe's case, just 5 days before her surgery date, the claim was not only approved for Chloe, but for any other child needing bilateral implants with this insurance company. Coverage of bilateral cochlear implants would now be their policy.
December 15, 2008 (just after her first birthday) The big day FINALLY arrived. After 6 hours in the OR, we received the GREATEST news EVER....
Chloe's surgery was a success and responses had been detected from electrodes in each ear. CHLOE WOULD HEAR!!!
Chloe the following morning after her bilateral surgery
Chloe's Activation Videos
One Month Later...
I was completely amazed at her progress in just one short month. Chloe started babbling and repeating sounds. This child was completely silent just one month before these videos were shot.
Now, at almost 5 months post-activation, Chloe continues to learn new sounds every week. She goes to AVT (auditory verbal therapy) weekly and mapping sessions (audiology) about once every 3 weeks. Her vocabulary includes: more, mouth, mama, bye, hi, "g" sounds, and "y" sounds. She is imitating more and more sounds every day. Check my personal blog for more updates on Chloe's progress: http://www.kaylynandluke.blogspot.com/
Written by Aunt Nicole