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Pacific Northwest Cochlear Implant Club Newsletter

The official newsletter for the Pacific Northwest Cochlear Implant Club.

Note: this newsletter has been edited in spots to keep downloading time reasonable. Sections cut are indicated in italics. To get the entire issue, click on the Subscription link just below.

Volume 7 Issue 4 Summer 1998

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Picnic in Seattle
By Jill Bargones, Ph.D. Seattle

Fun and Frolic in the Sun! Picnic and play for all cochlear implant users, their families and anyone else interested in cochlear implants!

When: Saturday, June 27th, 1998

11:00 a.m. &ndash 2:00 p.m.

Where: Gas Works Park, Seattle, WA

Picnic shelter #3

(covered eating and play areas in case of rain)

Bring: Salad or dessert to share

Drinks and BBQ&rsquod hotdogs and hamburgers will be provided. Please RSVP

To RSVP or for more information, call Jill Bargones 206-528-5118 (V/TTY) or 206-528-5117 (TTY answering machine), or Email

Or Gordon Nystedt

[Editor&rsquos Note: This event is co-sponsored by Children&rsquos Hospital and Regional Medical Center and the University of Washington Medical Center Cochlear Implant Programs. Once you RSVP they will send you a flyer with the directions. It would be helpful, but not necessary, if you advise what you plan to bring. Also we will need to know the number of adults and children in your party. Everyone is invited regardless where you obtained your implant or plan to be implanted. We especially urge you to encourage those thinking of an implant to attend and meet those already implanted. This event is for both adults and children.]

Are you a member of Cochlear Implant Club International (CICI)? If not your are missing their publication called "Contact". It is published four times a year. If you would like more information, let me know, and I will forward it to you. See page 8 on how to contact me.


20 Month Old Child Receives Nucleus 24
By Tami Bradley, Port Angeles, WA

Our daughter, Madeline Rose, who will be two years old on June 6th, was born a healthy child with normal hearing. On Thanksgiving Day 1997, she was hospitalized with pneumococcal meningitis. Although she survived the meningitis, it was not without serious side effects. Nine days after we brought her home from the hospital we realized she was not hearing. A trip to Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle confirmed our suspicions; Madi was profoundly deaf in both ears. Even with hearing aids, no response could be detected with equipment at it's limits. We felt there were only two choices; leave her completely deaf or have her receive a cochlear implant.

Given these two choices, our decision to implant her was easy. We felt leaving her deaf, when an amazing piece of technology was available, was not an option. Our daughter was born with normal hearing and was once part of the hearing world and we would do anything to give her back some of what she used to have. Although we were very nervous about the surgery, we knew it was something we had to do.

Madi went through a series of tests and evaluations, including a hearing aid trial at Children's Hospital to determine her candidacy. She was determined to be a good candidate and surgery was scheduled.

Dr. Kathleen Sie implanted Madi with the Nucleus 24 cochlear implant on February 10, 1998. Although an emotional day, it was a relief to finally have the surgery over with. After approximately 3 1/2 hours, Dr. Sie came out of the operating room and told us everything had gone perfectly and Madi was resting peacefully in the recovery room. She was sleepy for the remainder of the day and was very content to be in my arms, but by the next morning she was ready to go home, which we did. Within a couple days she was back to being a typical, active toddler. Her initial stimulation was on March 10, 1998 - four weeks after surgery. Dr. Jill Bargones, Dr. Susan Norton and audiologists Elizabeth Heron and Wendy Lugar participated in the mapping process, all exhibiting an enormous amount of patience with a little girl who was quite uncooperative. Madi did not want to wear the transmitting coil or mic, making mapping a slow, tedious process. She would leave it on for about two minutes at a time .

This reaction came as a big surprise to us because she had been so good about wearing her hearing aids. It was quite a challenge but, within two weeks she was wearing her equipment during all waking hours without a fuss.

We returned two more times within the same week to attempt more mapping. The staff at Children's was extremely cautious to start her off low and slowly increase her levels. With a little one as young as Madi, there is no definite way to tell if they are hearing the beeps at mapping. They carefully watched her for any indication that she heard the beeps. It may be something as little as a blink, cessation of activity, looking up from the activity, change in posture, etc. .

The first change we noticed with Madi was increased vocalization about two weeks post hook-up. The very same day we noticed her dramatic increase in vocalization was the same day her levels were increased a bit more. Within another week, she has said "Mama" and "bubbles", two words she had used prior to meningitis. However, we still could not get her to respond to voices or environmental

noises. The following week brought another increase in her map levels. That evening she turned to me when I called her name from behind her. She is responding fairly consistently to voices now and seems to alert to environmental noises. I found her dancing one morning to the piano music as my son was practicing. She has also developed an interest in television programs, which she had ignored before

These seemingly small responses are very significant to us as they tell us our daughter is returning to the hearing world. The cochlear implant is by no means a quick fix, it requires a huge commitment by the family and a ton of patience, but the results we're seeing tell us we made the right decision for our little girl.


First Med-EL Implantee in Seattle
By Vicki Howard, Bellevue

I originally saw Dr. Langman at Virginia Mason a year ago. After a long-haul with Group Health over insurance, I finally started the tests to qualify. I met Dr. Douglas Backous and Suzanne Quigley and was sent for balance test because of some severe dizziness I was experiencing. The test of warm, then cold water, made me almost vomit, but the other tests were fine. I was exhausted at the end of it but didn&rsquot have a problem, thank God!

Only 5 years ago, I was told there was nothing they could do. Hearing aids were helpless. The doctor told me they had not yet figured out how to "wire" thousands of hair cells and left me for "dead". I had a lot of hearing left at that time but little did I know how fast I would loose it. I have always had a hearing loss. It was discovered in elementary school when I was only eight. I gradually lost more and more but never would admit to it. Not even a year ago, when people would look at me like "what&rsquos her problem?" I lost my hearing very quickly in the last two years, loosing the ability to converse on the phone. Life wasn&rsquot easy. Nothing could prepare me for near deafness!

Both my sister and brother have some hearing loss, but I got the worst of it. Slowly my pride and energy level diminished making me feel like an outcast, a complete idiot

I can&rsquot believe how much energy goes out just to try to hear, then be slapped down mentally for not getting it. People can be so rude! I started backing out of ALL situations that involved hearing. My husband would order my dinner at restaurants, teenagers making doctor appointments, etc..

I&rsquove been asked so many times "why did I choose Med-El?" It was a very easy decision to make. I liked the 12 channels, the lightness of the electrode array (weight), and the ability to adjust so many more things. The flexibility it has and also the fact that they can get it 100% into the cochlea. I didn't know at the time I was only the 2nd in the USA to receive the Combi 40+.

I had surgery on January 14 and first programming by Suzanne on February 16. I look back at that experience. I was in a state of shock! It was so electronic sounding &ndash like Darth Vadar of Star Wars! My lower lip got stuck somehow with the tube they used in the throat during surgery. It swelled to three times the size. It gave me more pain and trouble than my hard ever did. Never took a pain pill. Dr. Backous did an excellent job.

I am so delighted to be able to hear again, even if it is still very electronic sounding. Technology has come so far! I can&rsquot understand anything without my lip-reading ability, but now I can carry on a conversation (as long as the person talks a little bit slower.) I&rsquom delighted that I don&rsquot have to carry a notepad anymore. I can hear the elevators ding, seatbelt buckle up, seat going forward or backward, pendulum of clock. So many things. Suzanne is concerned as to why I&rsquom not getting the "high pitches." (Ambulance, sirens, phones ringing). They are working with me on that and have discovered that I can get the highs in other parts of my cochlear. Suzanne really seems to be amazed at the flexibility it has. Med-El corporation has catered to my every need and are wonderful. Apparently there are about 10 now in the USA and Virginia Mason just did another one two days ago.

My co-workers, family, and friends have been supportive of me during this entire ordeal. I have finally "wised up" and accepted myself for what I am. I never wished to have wires and cords hanging in plain sight for all to see. Now I do! I had to push my pride aside which is the hardest thing to do! Guess What I learned? People will be so understanding if I just tell them. With cords in plain sight, more understanding comes out of people, especially older people whom I&rsquom constantly getting smiles from. They just seem to understand more. And I love not feeling like an idiot anymore. I was a bigger one for not letting it known to start with.

My greatest love in the music industry is Eric Clapton. He doesn&rsquot tour much anymore and I&rsquom going to see him in June. It might mean plugging my ears and turning off the processor. I can&rsquot even tell if he&rsquos singing anymore. I just have to remember music. It&rsquos been years since I&rsquove been to a concert but for years I&rsquove wanted to see him. Now, one of my dreams is coming true. I mentioned that I longed to see him in my letter of appeal to group Health. Now it&rsquos going to happen!

The biggest point I want to get across to people is DO IT!. Don&rsquot put it off! It&rsquoll help you immensely! It sure did me.

Nucleus 24 Brings "Springtime"
By Reba Moen, Monroe, WA

When I was in the University of Washington Hospital January 22, 1998, for my implant surgery, my daughter brought me this card with flowers and babies on the front and these words inside:

"This card reminded me of spring and sunshine and you! Welcome to the "Springtime" of your life. You have so many new thing

experience and I&rsquom very excited for you! I&rsquom so proud of you for taking this big step. You deserve a life of fun and enjoyment for all you&rsquove missed and sacrificed so far. Just remember I&rsquom always here for you and love you bunches and bunches."

This meant so much to me, but at the same time, I wondered if Springtime would ever come to me. I&rsquom happy to say it has (as far as implant) and it is wonderful!!

First map was February 19, 20, and 23. It was amazing how much I could hear the first day. Of course it was not normal hearing, but I was happy to hear something. It was quite shocking. The first distinct sound was the turn signal on my son&rsquos car when he pulled out of the parking lot. I had not heard that for many, many, years. He is putting windows up and down, turn radio on, crunch up papers to test me. When we came home he made sounds happen. I thought the toilet would explode when he flushed it. Water running was very weird. My own voice about scared me to death. I was afraid to talk!!

That night I called my friend on the TTY. I could hear the click, click, of the keys when I typed. I told her, "this is music to my ears." Hearing lots of things I have not heard for many years. I grew up hearing but started to lose it at age 25 and gradually came to this point.

March 2nd, a very nice doctor that works at the Hospital where I have worked 25 years, took me to the Opera House in Seattle to Symphony Concert Master Piece XII. It was beautiful and I could tell the violins, drums, etc. The harp was especially beautiful.

I don&rsquot feel like I am understanding spoken words at all. I cannot understand the TV or the radio, but can hear the noise, music, etc. On March 6th I had a test of spoken words on tape. Kevin Franck [Audiologist at U of W] said I got 65% and he was very pleased. I did not feel like I understood that much. But speech reading is so much easier. I&rsquom doing so much better overall. My own voice is better but others still sound "nasal or hallow."

On March 8th I went to church for the first time since getting the processor. The music was beautiful. If I looked at the speaker I could speech read , but not understand words without speech-reading. An interpreter was there for signing, so I felt like I got more from the message than before.

My son left a note on my cupboard saying "I love you mom and it is so nice to see you happy." It was a hard decision to make and I was pretty hesitant, but I&rsquom so glad I did. The quality of my life is much better. I still work part time and it is much better and less stressful.

So, Gordon, it is "Springtime" and I am enjoying every day of it. I am so thankful that I am able to have this done. I am thankful for SHHH and for you getting me into that. You do such a great job and I really admire you.


Enjoying Nucleus 24
By Ron Williams, Tracyton, WA

My name is Ron, I am 59 years old. When I was five, I lost the hearing in my left ear due to meningitis. Over the years I learned to compensate by facing the person who was speaking or setting with my right side to them. Very few people knew I had a hearing problem.

September 14, 1997 I developed a headache , nausea, and dizziness. After three days in the hospital, and numerous test, I had lost the hearing in my right ear. No answers as to why. Quite by accident I heard about cochlear implants. We did some research and contacted the University of Washington for more information.

I am a sales person. Not being able to communicate with others or use a telephone was devastating. I have had to take a leave of absence. Not knowing if or when I might be able to return to work, and with no income to depend on, I was overwhelmed. We were able to get a TTY phone. It enabled me to communicate with friends and family, though at times I got frustrated.

On November 16, 1997 we attended a potluck at Children&rsquos Hospital in Seattle and were able to talk to others with hearing loss and implants of all ages. On November 18, 1997 we had our first meeting with Dr. Gates and the rest of the implant team. December 15, 1997 I received my CI24 implant.

January 17, 1998 was my first mapping. I COULD HEAR!! Each mapping has been an improvement. I can now use a telephone. It works well with the adapter. I have a ways to go, but so far it has been a wonderful experience. I would recommend it to anyone without a second thought.

As wonderful as it all is, I don&rsquot think it would have gone so smoothly had it not been for the wonderful team involved. Jenny Stark, for co-coordinating appointments, urging us on, and just listening when the stress overwhelmed us. Dr. Gates and his team. Dr. Sue Sanborn and Kevin Franck at the Speech and Hearing Clinic at the U of W for their praise and caring, all making a frightening experience tolerable.

Last, but not least, the support from family and friends, and a lot of prayers.


Enjoying Clarion S-Series
By Lee Dillon, Springfield, OR

Thanks for your letter of March 24th. I enjoyed the newsletters you sent. I had been informed of the newsletter during one of my sessions for adjusting my processor.

[Editor&rsquos note: I sent him a series of questions. Following are his answers.]

I received my implant at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland on December 16th. My surgeon was Dr. Alexander Schleuning and my Audiologist was Dr. Don Plapinger.

When I first received my processor on January 28th, I did not hear much except lots of noises. It was on the second adjustment that I started understanding anything. Then I

the door bell and phone ringing. All voices were very gravelly, and sounded like we were in a tunnel. Dr. Plapinger tells me that I am coming along much slower than most of his implantees, but each time I go in for an adjustment we both see a big improvement. My wife really notices a big improvement. In the past she always had to repeat each thing about three times before I understood what she was saying, and then sometimes I still didn&lsquot know what she was talking about.

I had lost my hearing in my right ear over 10 years ago and gradually lost most of the hearing in my left ear. Without my digital hearing aid I was completely deaf. I now find that if I use both my hearing aid and the implant, I can understand better than with only one or the other.

[Editor&rsquos note: I had asked him how many maps he has had.] Maps. I was not familiar with this word in implants, but now assume to mean the adjustments of my processor. After the initial fitting I have been back three times and I am scheduled again on April 1.

How has the implant helped me? It has opened the world up to me again. I had always worked where public relations was very important, and without hearing, I had found myself almost in a vacuum. After my retirement, over 13 years ago, we had traveled all over the U.S. but for the past several years we haven&rsquot felt safe to travel.


Sisters Receive Nucleus 24
By VeAnn Gibson, Placentia, CA

First, I would like to thank you for your newsletter. I have enjoyed reading about others who have had implants and hearing about their successes and their disappointments. In many ways it has helped me to understand the things that I am going through with my own implant.

My sister and I have both had the implant in the past year and have almost identical hearing losses. We were both born with severe high tone hearing loss which stayed stable until we were about 45 years old, when we rapidly began to lose the rest of our hearing. Before my implant I had been profoundly deaf for over 10 years and she had been for about 5 years. Our brother also has a hearing loss but his is not as severe as ours and he is not yet eligible for the implant, though the day may come.

My sister, JoAnn, had her implant last April and was hooked to the speech processor in May. I, being a more timid soul, let her lead in this and didn't get my implant until late June and the processor was hooked up in August. I have to say that both of us would do it again and that we would wait in line to do it. The increase in the quality of life can not possibly be imagined with out experiencing it. I had never heard my grandchild speak, coo, cry, laugh, sing, or the other things that are so important in being a grandmother. I could not baby sit them without someone else being with me because I could not hear if they needed me. It was very frustrating to both of us. When they came to the house they would hug me and say "hi" and then they would be off to play. Since the implant they stop to tell me about their day and to share their latest favorite toy. Also being able to hear traffic when I walk and hearing sirens when I drive and hearing people in the car without having to take my eyes off the road...birds singing, the sermon at church! Well, all of these things are wonderful!

Now that is not to say that everything is wonderful right from the first. Some noises are hard to get used to. Before losing my hearing completely I had learned to love music...I played the piano, organ, cello, and even sang in the choir...I might not be able to hear others as well as I should but I could hear myself very well. After going completely deaf, these activities were a thing of the past. I still do not understand all of the music I hear. I can again sing with the congregation at church...haven&rsquot tried choir...but unless I know the music well, I have trouble picking out the melody. So I decided that since others have to learn to hear and learn to talk, perhaps I need to learn to listen to music all over again, because I never did hear all of it and I am hearing a whole lot more than I had ever heard before. I enrolled in music appreciation class at the local college to train my ear to hearing again. And I am progressing! I still don&rsquot hear it all and I still have trouble telling just exactly what I am hearing. I have found that I recognize some of the instruments again. The piano, a flute, oboe, organ, harp, cello, and violin are becoming familiar to me. I really believe that it will get better. By the way, my sister is also doing this and is also finding that things are improving with music.

Well, that is about the extent of my experience, except to say that I really think, even if I never am to get to hear music the way I would like to, that it is a very much worth it and I love the things I can do now that I never could do before. Hear without lip-reading, converse with children, play the piano again (I can even tell it needs to be tuned), listen to the birds sing. I can't begin to tell you all the wonderful things I can do now that I couldn&rsquot do before...every day there is something new. To my children, both those who remember when I could hear some and those who only knew me as deaf, this is truly science fiction at its best.

Please keep up the newsletter. It does give that needed boost when I get a little discouraged and I am sure there are others who feel the same way.

[ VeAnn and her sister were both implanted in Salt Lake. Their Audiologist is Marsha McCandless.]


Returned to Sound with Nucleus 24
By David Burlingame, Bremerton

[Editor note: David received his implant at the University of Washington on February 23rd. Dr. George Gates did the surgery. .]

I was mapped and turned on by Kevin Franck and Sue Sanborn at the UW speech and hearing clinic on Thursday March 19. The sounds were of a high pitch but it was clear there wasn&rsquot a lot of squeaking. At first it was loud and sounded like piano keys were being played between words. I had to ask them to turn it down at least 3 times! I wore it during the next 30 minutes or so and it went away and the words were coming through. I could hear the words being said with lip-reading, In fact lip-reading became easier with the implant turned on.

My wife asked me if she sounded different than before I was implanted and I told her she did. She wanted to know how it was different. I couldn't really explain it. She laughed and I heard her snort! During the nine years of marriage, I had never heard my wife snort before! That was funny to me.

There was some Velcro on a table that I was sitting at with Kevin, Sue and my family. I pulled them apart slowly to see if I could hear it and it was pretty loud. I kept on playing with it and my family noticed that I was having fun hearing the sounds..

I could follow along with the copy of sentences that they said out loud. The first mapping was too loud for me because it was shaking my head too much. On the 20th of March, Kevin and I did another mapping. This time Kevin gave me the controls to the loudness levels. I made the settings of the each of the electrodes at the most comfortable level for me. It came out better, as I was able to turn on the processor without any shaking of my head as I listened. I think it takes
several mappings to get it right. The brain has to do some adjusting too.

I noticed sometimes I was getting too much information through the implant and it was hard to pinpoint any one sound. It made it all sound like one noise or I thought nothing was getting through! For example, I was listening to the turn signals in my car but couldn't hear it until I tried hard to weed out the other sounds that were going on around me. I then felt the information coming through, but it didn't sound like anything, and then it suddenly came through. It sounded like clicking once I watched the turn signal light blinking and feeling the clicking sensation with it making what I thought would be the sound.

I was learning how to hear in the real world of sounds that my hearing aid couldn't provide me before. The sounds are of a higher pitch than I remember them to be. I now can hear the sounds that the letters "T" and "S" make as Sue explained to me. They were so loud when she pronounced them to me. It has been a long time since I heard those sounds. Handling paper or a newspaper is especially loud.

On April 7th I had another mapping due to the last mapping being too low in volume. Now I have to wait until my brain and me adjust to the much louder sounds. Will need to go in for another adjustment.

I had a refresher class at work and I understood the instructor with lip-reading, but a person sitting next to me was sniffing so much that it drowned out the instructor. He was doing it every 15 to 30 seconds or so. What do you do in that situation &ndash tell him to knock it off? Ha ha ha.. So I just bear with it and got through the class without any devices to help me like a personal FM system.

Kevin said my processor has an audio mix option which allows me mix the speakers voice with the background so I can hear others if they asked questions, even with a personal FM plugged into the processor.. I will have to try it out next time I go to class and I will let you know how it worked for me.

There are a few things that I don't like about the design of the implant device. The Microphone and ear hook is too small for an adult. They made it one size fits all including children. They made it so it fits a small child which of course doesn't work very well for an adult. They also should have a little ridge on the end of the plastic hook so anyone could put a ear-mold tube on it without it slipping off too easily. I had to use my old hearing aid ear hook and use that with my ear-mold to stop it from falling off.

I like the pouch that lets me put my processor on my hip with a belt to hold it in place better than the clip that came with it. If I wanted to changed the settings its a little pain because I have to read upside down! I think it would be better if the window or the display was the other way around so we could read it easier.


Spectra 22 Restores Communication
By Randa Bleazard, Ovid, ID.

We received your newsletter a few days ago. I told my husband I was going to write his story of how he lost his hearing.

He has a Spectra 22. Dr. Clough Shelton at the University of Utah did the surgery. My husband can hear even in a group of people. This is the story of how he lost his hearing.

We had only been married a few short months when he had open heart surgery. Due to complications he just never felt good. He had lots of chest pain and tenderness in the sternum area. We went back to Salt Lake. He had a bone scan of his sternum and it was not healed together. The doctors made two attempts to repair his sternum but was unsuccessful.

In February, 1995 he had pectoral flap surgery. It was a very painful and awful surgery. It took him a while to recuperate enough to go home. On the day we were scheduled to go home, he called me at his mothers at 5:30 a.m.. He told me to come quick &ndash that something was wrong. I hurried from Murray, Utah, to the VA hospital. It was about a 20 minute drive.

When I arrived at the hospital my husband was sitting in a wheel chair gasping for every breath he took. He was sent for an x-ray. It showed he had a collapsed lung. He was moved back to S.I.C.U. by 10:30 a.m. Everything was going wrong. His kidneys quite working. He had to be put on life support. A cat scan that evening showed that he had some kind of mass or something around the lining of his lung. They had to insert a chest tube to drain the infection off. It turned out to be M.R.S.A. which is a staph infection that is resistant to most antibiotics. The only one that it wasn&rsquot resistant to was Vancomycin.

He had to have large doses of it to kill the staph. He had to have kidney dialysis. He had three more surgeries. He was very heavily sedated for 30 days. He had no idea he was so sick. I was so sad. I cried everyday. It seemed so unfair. I wanted him to get better so I could tell him how much I loved him. I waited for what seemed like an eternity. I wanted so bad to hear his voice and just to tell him a few simple words. When he finally woke up, I was so excited! Except he could not hear and I was devastated. I had wanted all this time to talk to him and he couldn&rsquot hear me.

I had to write everything on paper so he could read it. He could then answer me. He had to be taught how to walk and dress himself. It was two months to the day he took sick that I was able to take him home. He had 10% hearing in the right ear. He could hear very little with his hearing aid. He read lips more than anything. We are thankful for the doctors at the VA Hospital and University of Utah. His kidneys are working and he can hear. I am so thankful for the medical technology we have today.

Dr. Shelton is a wonderful doctor. Thank you so much Dr. Shelton. I am so thankful for my husband. I am glad he is alive and here with me today. I can tell him how much I love and appreciate him and best of all he can hear it.

Re-implanted with Clarion
By Peg Henshaw, Sun River, OR

I turned 77 last December. I have been hearing impaired to some degree most of my life, but not really deaf until contracting the mumps while living in Germany in 1955. A series of powerful hearing aids gave some help but not much. It was my ability of being able to lip-read that saved the day. Also great support from family and friends made a difference. I didn&rsquot know anyone who was deaf so did not learn sign language, as the deaf used to be the only people who used it. Now, everyone wants to learn for the fun of it, I guess.

I had a cochlear implant in 1985. I was the 7th person to be implanted at UCSF by Dr. Robert Schindler. The device was made by Storz Instruments and worked well at first. The implant was in a titanium case...the seal failed and body fluids entered causing me to have shocks in my head. The receiver was replaced but still did not work well and I shortly had to stop using it as they said it could cause damage.

The FDA would not approve taking it out and replacing it. So, the whole thing was still inside my head until 1996 when UCSF called and said the FDA had approved a re-implantation. I was implanted with a Clarion in September of 1996. The device lights up my life and I feel much more a part of the living world. But, I wonder, was it really necessary for me to wait 10 years for the gift of sound?

The main reason I write this is to encourage "older people" to go ahead and have the implant...believe me, it&rsquos worth it.


Arch Roberson, Meridian, ID. &ndash He will be operated on in Salt Lake City April 22nd by Dr Shelton MD and be mapped by Marsha McCandless Audiologist. He is to receive the Nucleus 24

Adam Kushner, Edgewood, WA &ndash He was operated on at Virginia Mason in Seattle April 15th by Dr. Douglas Backous and will be mapped by Carol Brazil, Audiologist. He received the Med-EL.

John Egurrola, Pocatello, ID &ndash John had an Inneraid. He will be going to Salt Lake City to have the Inneraid removed and replaced with a Clarion. His surgery date was scheduled to take place April 15th.

Nancy Harvey, Mercer Island, WA. She will be implanted with the Nucleus 24 on May 4th at the University of Washington by Dr. George Gates.

Cochlear Implant News for Children and Families
At Children&rsquos Hospital and Regional Medical Center
By Jill Bargones, Ph.D.

Our program is a comprehensive, family-centered program for children with profound hearing losses and their families. Our Team is composed of professionals who specialize in working with children and families. We provide (rehabilitation services at Children&rsquos and help families find appropriate services in their communities. In addition, we work closely with each child&rsquos teacher and other professionals involved with the child. School visits for in-service training and classroom observations are included in the child&rsquos overall program. Our goal is to work with families to develop and maintain good communication and psycho-emotional health and well-being for all family members.

Clarion Cochlear Implant Approved for Use in Children!

The Clarion Cochlear Implant is now approved by the FDA for use in children. Our program participated in the clinical trials for the Clarion, and this new device is now available for any child in our program. The Clarion incorporates new technologies including new speech processing strategies and reverse telemetry to allow the implant team to check the internal device. The Advanced Bionics Corporation is developing an ear-level processor targeted for release in 1999. Children in our program have used the Clarion for 1-3 years. All of the children who use the Clarion are showing progress in their communication skills.

Nucleus 24 Cochlear Implant System is available for children!

The Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program at Children&rsquos Hospital and Regional Medical Center is the only Implant Center in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska participating in the clinical trials for the Nucleus 24 Cochlear Implant System for children. This new implant offers new technologies, including new speech processing strategies and an ear-level processor. In addition, this device incorporates reverse telemetry to allow the implant team to check the internal device. A new test to evaluate the nerves&rsquo responses to stimulation from the implant is also available. These features are especially useful for young children who may not be able to tell us what they are hearing. In addition, the internal part of Nucleus 24 system utilizes a removable magnet. This allows the user to have an MRI scan without needing to remove the entire internal device. Children two years of age and older are eligible to participate in the clinical trials of the Nucleus 24. In Washington State, this device is only available for children at Children&rsquos Hospital.

Children who use the Nucleus 22, can order their ear level processor now

The Cochlear Corporation is developing an ear level processor for children who use the Nucleus 22 implant system. The new ear level processor is called the ESPrit 22. The company is now taking orders for this device. Until FDA approval, ESPrit 22 orders are intended solely to reserve the current price and the customer&rsquos delivery priority once the device becomes available. The company hopes to have the ESPrit available late 1998.

Loaner hearing aids and tactile aids available

Some children with profound hearing loss benefit significantly from powerful hearing aids. If a child who is considering a cochlear implant does not have the most appropriate hearing aids, we can loan the child powerful hearing aids for up to 6 months. With consistent therapy, we can then help a family determine if the child might get more benefit from a cochlear implant. We also have loaner tactile aids available. These devices convert sound information to vibrations that are felt on the skin (usually the chest). Tactile aids can help deaf children learn that speech can be important for communication prior to receiving a cochlear implant.

Parent-support group
at Children&rsquos

A parent support group is available at Children&rsquos for families with deaf and hard-of-hearing children with or without cochlear implants. This group meets the first and third Mondays of every month. Parents meet for discussion among themselves or for presentations from people with a variety of experiences with deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adults. While parents are meeting, childcare is provided for deaf and hard-of- hearing children as well as their siblings. A sibling group for brothers and sisters of deaf and hard-of-hearing children also meets during this time. All newcomers are welcome!

Member of our Team

Jill Bargones, Ph.D., CCC-A, Auditory Habilitation and Development Specialist and Program Coordinator.

Elizabeth Heron, M.S., CCC-A, Pediatric Audiologist.

Wendy Lugar, M.A., CCC-A, Pediatric Audiologist.

Susan Norton, Ph.D., CCC-A, Director of Clinical and Research Audiology and Co-Director of the Cochlear Implant Program.

Kathleen Sie, M.D., Pediatric Otolaryngologist and Co-Director of the Cochlear Implant Program.

Consultants to the Team

Rose Calderon, Ph.D., Director of Psychiatric Services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children.

Anita Wright, M.A., CCC-SLP, Pediatric Speech and Language Therapist

For More Information

For more information about our programs, contact Jill Bargones at Children&rsquos Hospital and Regional Medical Center, 4800 Sand Point Way N.E., P.O. Box 5371/CH-78, Seattle, WA 98105-0371 or call (206) 528-5118 (Voice or TTY) (206) 528-5117 (TTY answering machine), or Email

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