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Jaime’s joy

September 14, 2015

Jaime’s joy Jaime and Lisa

When you meet Jaime and her cheeky little smile you wouldn’t believe she is deaf – her speech is like any other nearly 3-year-old and her reaction and enjoyment of sounds is plentiful.

Jaime was diagnosed as deaf from birth.

“Jaime was two days of age when we realised she was deaf, we had our newborn hearing screening and were told Jaime didn’t pass,” Jaime’s Mum Lisa recalls.

“It was a complete shock. It was hard initially; it took me a little while to come around to understanding and accepting that Jaime was deaf.”

At four weeks of age, Jaime was assessed as a suitable candidate for a cochlear implant, a device invented in 1978 by Professor Graeme Clark AO.

At nine months of age, Jaime received the implant in her left ear and at 10 months the implant was ‘switched on’.

Remembering that moment, Lisa says: “It was really nice, she didn’t have a huge exaggerated reaction but we could tell straight away that she was hearing, she looked around and smiled at us – she adapted to it really well.”

In June this year, Jaime had surgery to have a second cochlear, on her right side, implanted. The surgery was a success and in July it was ‘switched-on’.

After only three weeks post the ‘switch on’ Jamie was ‘listening’ with her new ear, recognising and repeating words.

The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital has implanted over 3,500 cochlear implants since Professor Clark successful implanted the first bionic ear at the hospital 37 years ago.

The invention has changed the lives of many, including Jaime’s family.

“Every day I look at Jaime and know I made the right choice, she is confident, social and happy. We are so happy with our journey, it has definitely been the right thing for us and the right thing for Jaime.”