We attended the annual Cochlear Implant Cookout held by Children's Hospital yesterday. It was a great opportunity to meet other children with cochlear implants and their families. Drew and his sister had a great time despite the very hot weather. Drew's Dad and I had fun talking with parents, both ones we knew prior to the cookout and new ones we met yesterday. We also had an opportunity to see Drew's ENT, the first time since his activation.
Drew with his cochlear implant surgeon Dr. (a.k.a. chef) Richard Kang at the cookout.
I met a mother of a baby recently diagnosed with profound hearing loss. Her story sounds very similar to ours and I look forward to having lunch with her in the coming weeks. I have developed such wonderful relationships with so many other mothers of children with hearing loss. We all have an immediate connection that is very difficult to explain, but these parents understand what it is like to have a child with hearing loss (much like the connection I have with my Internet friends, too!).
I met the mother of a teenager who received her cochlear implant when she was three years old. At the time her child was born there was a mandate by the FDA that the child try hearing aids for two years before a cochlear implant be considered! I can not imagine having Drew wear hearing aids for two years. He was getting no benefit from them and I was frustrated that he had to wear them for eight months. The great news is that the teen is doing amazing with her implant. She participated in the conversation we were having openly and her speech was very good. She is a true CI success story and an inspiration for parents like me just beginning this journey.
It was a very nice day and I am glad that we were able to attend. It will be nice to see these families yearly and see how well the kids are doing with their cochlear implants.