3-year-old Hampus can now hear thanks to cochlea implant (CI)
– I felt as if my whole life came crashing down when we found out that our son was deaf , says the 3-year-old boy´s mother, Anette. We discovered that something was wrong when Hampus was six months and he didn´t seem to hear the fire alarm. Neither did Hampus react when his father was banging pots together. Soon Hampus had to undergo a long series of tests, which showed that he was almost totally deaf.
Six months after the discovery, their son underwent surgery. During an eight hour long operation, which Anette describes as the worst day of her life, all residual hearing was cut off and two cochlear implants were put in- one for each ear. Cochlear implants are hearing devices consisting of both an outer and an implanted part. Conventional hearing aids can only amplify sound, so the patient needs to have some hearing left. Cochlear implants usually have several parts including a microphone and a transmitter coil which are located outside the body. These components collect and transmit sound to the implant that was surgically inserted. The implant consists of a receiver and electrodes connected to the auditory nerve.
Hampus´ mother and father was somewhat disappointed after the surgery. They had seen YouTube clips of children suddenly hearing that either became terrified or overjoyed. For Hampus everything just seemed to be continuing as usual. The doctors told them not to worry since the surgery had been successful. They said it would just take a while for Hampus brain to learn what the electrical signals meant. Six months went by with no signs of Hampus hearing. But one the day Hampus turned towards his mother and said:
Two years after the surgery, Hampus has a larger vocabulary than his peers and his parents keep their fingers crossed that he will be able to attend regular school. They do not regret saying yes to the operation.
This blog post is originally written by Kristina Svensson and published by Medtech4Health. It´s been published and translated with Kristina´s permission. Read the blog in Swedish here>>