Damian Quinn’s Story

June 8th, 2011 by | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

Damian's first cochlear implant surgery

Damain Quinn first received his cochlear implant at the age of 16 years old in 1987 as part of the clinical trials.

I lost my hearing at the age of 7 due to mumps.  I remember running down the passage at home and crying out “I can’t hear, I can’t hear anything”.  My local doctor told my parents I was faking it as mumps don’t cause deafness.  How wrong he was.

I quickly learnt to lip read and tried using hearing aids but they didn’t help.  I went to a regular primary and high school in the country and got by using lip reading.  My mother had heard about Cochlear Implants in Melbourne and looked into this.  She was eager for my hearing to be restored.  My speech deteriorated over the years.  My older brother was a motor mechanic and had his own garage.  I used to hang out with him a lot.  He had a lot of patience with me – which was hard at times.  He taught me all about mechanics and cars and also taught me to weld.  He was my inspiration.

The computer the audiologists used in 1987 and also WSP, the first sound processor.

In 1986, at the age of 16 I was assessed for a cochlear implant and approved.  I was the first child in SA to have one (28th July 1987) – even though I was 16 I was still classed as a child.  I was considered to be a ‘guinea pig’ for Cochlear so they could get FDA approval for implanting children.  The story about my deafness and Cochlear Implant was shown on State Affair – a current affair program on South Australian television.  My operation was also filmed and shown on the program.  This was a huge turning point in my

Damian's Activation in 1987

life.  I could hear for the first time in 8 years.  I went on to become a 1st class welder and won a gold medal in 1990 in the Work Skills Australia Adelaide Region electric welding competition.  I went on to also become a qualified mechanic.

I am 40 years old now and next year will be my 25th Anniversary.  Over the years I have spoken to many prospective implantees giving advice about the procedure.  I have also helped many implantees with choosing suitable mobile phones and accessories – this has been a passion of mine. I am lucky to have a very patient and loving partner who has put up with me all these years and a beautiful 11 year old son.






Damian Today

1 Comment

June 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm

[...] FriendlyDamian Quinn’s mom was generous to take time to write a story about her son’s journey from going deaf to [...]