Tom’s Story

March 20th, 2008 by | Tags: | 1 Comment »

Hi – my name is Tom. I am 15 years old and have bilateral cochlear implants. I wore hearing aids until I was 13 years old, then I had a big hearing loss and I decided to get a cochlear implant. I liked it so much that I had my left side implanted a year later. It’s been great and the best decision I could have possibly made for myself. I go a mainstream school where I’m on the honor roll. I have earned my second degree black belt in taekwondo and I’ve been playing the bass guitar for a little over a year. I listen to music all the time – it’s a big part of my life. I love to act and I was the only freshman who got a role in my school’s winter play, Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors”. Last year, I had the lead role in the middle school play. I’m the only deaf kid in my class and usually am one of only two or three other deaf kids in the school, including my younger brother who also has bilateral CIs. My brother is doing equally as well – he’s into sports (especially baseball – he was on a team that went to the state Little League allstar tournament) and also has a second degree black belt in taekwondo. I have a great group of friends, all who are hearing, all who think of me as their friend, Tom, not their deaf friend, Tom. I don’t believe that I would have been able to do all that I do were it not for my CIs. They really have given me a lot.

1 Comment

October 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm


I’m writing from Portugal, I read this testimony and I am a user of unilateral Nucleus Freedom implant, I wonder if you can keep in touch with Tom, or that Rachel could possibly get some information for me about practicing Taekwondo ? I am looking for a helmet adapted to my case because I really want to go back to compete nationally and internationally, to return to my true passion of my life and she learned to mature a lot in terms of language and sociability – I would like to participate in the European Championship and World, plus the Olympics and would really like to try this my worth on behalf of all deaf and equipped with cochlear devices.

I wonder if Tom really makes competition in fighting with the cochlear implant internally without outside if yes, how is the side protection side deployed? I spoke with Cochlear and other organisms so far not able to answer me, and I remembered being here in America to try a huge country compared to Portugal.

I am “desperately” looking for helmet only to return to active duty – they can do me this little help?