My mother got a second cochlear implant last year and it was turned on last week. The first involved shaving a good bit of her head, much more invasive surgery. This time was much better, outpatient surgery, with a small incision.
Here you can see and hear the difference between her first, 20 years ago, and her new one.
I’ll say my mother is nothing short of amazing. She had never heard, her entire life, and even with the limited capabilities of her first implant, and despite being warned she’d never understand speech, she persevered. She spent hours studying, listening to audiobooks reading along, to *learn* to understand speech. If that’s not being a learn-it-all, I don’t know what is.
And… data makes a difference. The difference between the first and second implant, for me, is the difference between a single instrument and an orchestra.
Below you can hear the before and after comparison – what she heard with her first implant and what she can hear now. This difference is striking.