Melissa’s Story

February 9th, 2009 by | Tags: , | 6 Comments »

Melissa, a blogger from My Journey with Nucleus Freedom, and I met each other through a Facebook group called The CI Community.  For the past few weeks, we’ve been sharing our stories and talking about our life in general.  Melissa is an example of a cochlear implant user who grew up with hearing aids and then received a CI later in her childhood.  She noticed positive differences in her hearing with a cochlear implant compared to her hearing with hearing aids.

I’m Melissa, I’m 18 years old and I have a Nucleus Freedom. I received my cochlear implant at ten years old. My life has changed so much since then. I wasn’t born deaf but my hearing was destroyed by aminoglycosides antibiotics after my premature birth at 28 weeks gestation. I was diagnosed as severely deaf at 9 months old and got my first bilateral hearing aids at 14 months. I attended a deaf school from 3-11 years old , the class sizes were so small and you got more 1-1 attention with teachers and there was a oral and SSE policy, so teachers used both while communicating with us deaf children. I was so upset when I left because I loved it so much! My hearing loss deteriorated at around 7/8 years old so my parents, my audiologist and I decided to go through the cochlear implant assessment to see if I was eligible, after a long year of tests and assessments I was found to be eligible! I had my operation at the nearest hospital to me who did cochlear implants. After my operation I was quite sick and tired but I was so excited for my activation day! After my activation I was able to hear many sounds that I could never hear before and still today I am hearing new sounds although I’ve been implanted eight years. I am currently in college studying childcare, I enjoy working with children but it is a challenge sometimes, my cochlear implant doesn’t give me perfect hearing, I still struggle and stuff but it’s great and I could never live without it! I still rely on lip-reading heavily but I can hear people talking when I am not lip-reading but I chose to lip-read as it makes words clearer. My favourite sounds have to be fireworks crackling and the rain. I am not a music fan, I never have been and don’t think I would want to listen to music, to me at the moment it is not important. Growing up with my Cochlear Implant was great, I heard so much and it improved my speech, before the implant I wasn’t able to hear some letters such as ‘CH’,’S’,’SH’, but now I can and it has helped me to communicate better with people.

Please read my blog at http://ajourneywithacochlearimplant.wordpress.com


February 10, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Is it possible for Melissa or anyone to be able to explain in detail the differences between a hearing aid and a C.I. (sound-wise)? Maybe there is someone out there who had normal hearing once, then went on to wear a hearing aid, and finally a C.I.? I’m real curious since I am actually thinking about getting one. Is it like listening to a “robotic sound” similar to computer generated voice? Or is it more natural than that? That’s probably the only thing that I’m real concerned about if I do go that route that the sounds would be so artificial that I’d want my hearing aid back. LOL Maybe not? I have asked people that, and have gotten a vague answer, all positive, tho. I tend to be very cautious when it comes to big changes and I don’t want to wait so long and then tell myself I should have done that eons ago. I’m not concerned about speech and listening, I already have that…but, does one have to start over because the sounds are different? Thanks.

Caitlin J

February 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm


I was born deaf, so Idk how much you’ll take my answer for credit, but even I with a cochlear implant can tell the difference between a “robotic voice” and a human voice. I’ve heard from people who lost hearing that the cochlear implant is worth it, and much more efficient than hearing aids. Hope that helps.


February 11, 2009 at 1:39 am


I know someone who was born with normal hearing and gradually lost hearing over time and then eventually got a cochlear implant. I will get her e-mail address from my mom and put you two in touch. Also, if you check out the Cochlear Community at http://www.cochlearcommunity.com , you’ll find quite a few people in this group who had normal hearing all their lives and then suddenly lost their hearing. They can provide you some feedback. In fact, if you want, I can also give you some of their contact info too. Your concerns are definitely very normal.

February 11, 2009 at 2:44 am

Thanks Rachel!

February 12, 2009 at 5:34 pm

[...] story My story can be found here Cochlear Implant Online __________________ Deafteen90, Deaf, Nucleus Freedom User and an Oticon Spirit 3 SP hearing aid [...]


April 4, 2009 at 1:54 pm

I cant remember exactly what the CI sounded like when I was first activated, but I wear a hearing aid in my right ear and I have a CI in my left, the CI is a lot more powerful than my hearing aid, I think they both sound the same but ihear a lot more with the CI, it is hard to explain. You should consider the CI, other people may be able to explain better