Leonard's Story

I was born in Winnipeg and except for a few years during World War II have lived here all my life. I first noticed some hearing loss in my mid 40’s when I had trouble hearing my late wife, who was soft spoken… I got my first hearing aid around [age] 50 and due to gradual deterioration had several different sets of aids. Finally, a few years ago I was told that my left ear was so bad that the aid was not helping and stopped wearing it. My Audiologist also found my right ear so weak that the aid had done all it could and recommended a cochlear implant. I was referred to Central Speech and Hearing where I was evaluated and accepted into the program. My treatment at the clinic was exemplary. My Audiologist, Daniela, was very encouraging and considerate, explaining the whole procedure.

In September 2013, I underwent 3 hours of surgery and had the interior part of my implant inserted. I had an uneventful recovery with absolutely no discomfort. One month later I was fitted with the exterior part of the implant. At this appointment Daniela worked with me on the computer to do the initial adjustments. At first it just sounded like noise with a big echo. Now, 4 months later and after several visits and adjustments and much perseverance, it is sounding almost human. My interpretation of normal sounds is much better. I can sit outside and enjoy hearing the birds chirping and singing to one another. I can follow the news on TV better, but still have to use closed captions often. I am looking forward to further improvement. My implant has been a great help in social situations. Playing Bridge, I used to often ask what was bid. Now other players who are hard of hearing ask me what the bid was. And I love it.

Although it has only been 4 months I am enjoying being with friends and family more since I can hear most of what is being said. I hope, eventually, to improve to the point where I can be involved in discussions, attend lectures and movies and other activities that I have neglected due to my hearing problem. My implant has been a blessing and I look forward to much more pleasure from it.