My name is Marie and I live in Graysville, Manitoba. I had severe hearing loss for most of my life and wore hearing aids. I could no longer hear well and could not communicate well with my family and friends. It was difficult for me to be a part of any conversation and had to read lips or write down what people were saying to me. I was referred to a specialist in Portage La Prairie named Dr. Thess. He met with me and informed me about a surgery called Cochlear Implant Surgery. I got tested and approved and was on a wait list for a while. I received a phone call and was informed that Manitoba was now doing the surgery at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. I was excited as was my family. I met with the staff at Central Speech and Hearing for the first time and was very nervous and excited to get the surgery. I will never forget meeting with Jacob for the first time. He was very nice and took the time to explain the cochlear implant surgery and answer all my questions for me and my family.
I got my surgery done in November of 2011. My surgery was filmed by CTV news and was a success. I met with Jacob at Central speech and Hearing after about a month to turn on my implant. Jacob turned on the implant and everything was very loud. I remember that one of the first sounds I heard was Deck the Halls song on the radio and the sound of crumpling paper. Everything was new and so exciting for me. I also heard the sounds of my family and friends. I heard sounds that I could not hear before, the sound of a toilet flushing and the sound of a car running were new to me. I was nervous and did not know some sounds and would ask a lot of questions when I did not understand.
I have enjoyed my implant and listen to music. My favourite is Johnny Cash who I listen to every day. I use the phone and talk to my family and friends. I am no longer afraid of making mistakes and not hearing what people say. I have a new world that has opened up to me and feel more independent each day. I would have to say that everyone at Central Speech and Hearing have helped me a lot. They have all supported me and truly care about me. I love coming and enjoy working with Jacob, Daniela, Kristy, and Janelle. I also would like to thank all the wonderful staff at Health Sciences Centre; Dr. Leitao and Dr. Hochman, for doing my surgery and aftercare at Health Sciences Centre.
My family and I would like to thank everyone for all their time and support these past years. I hope that my story inspires people to never give up no matter what; hearing is a wonder gift to us all.