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Eye and Ear celebrates cochlear implant milestones

November 22, 2017

The Eye and Ear celebrated two significant milestones recently, marking the 4000th cochlear implant surgery and the 1000th child to receive a cochlear implant at the hospital.

Vivienne Jones, who at 77 became the recipient of the 4000th cochlear implant at the Eye and Ear, is proof that cochlear implants are for people of all ages.

The 4000th surgery was Vivienne’s second implant, having had her first at the Eye and Ear a few years ago: "Better hearing for me means a much better life! I am a very happy 4000!"

Melbourne toddler Austin Archer became the 1000th child to receive a cochlear implant at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.

Professor Graeme Clarke AC, the inventor of the cochlear implant, joined Vivienne, Austin, his mum Thobeka and staff from the Eye and Ear to celebrate the major milestones.

Austin was born with a rare type of hearing loss; audio neuropathy. Now, thanks to the implant, Thobeka said he’s experiencing new sounds, recognising animal noises and learning a few words.

"Austin is recovering well and learning to recognise sounds, which is very exciting.

"I’m grateful for the support we received from our caseworker Elizabeth and surgeon Dr Dahm, and that Austin could receive his implant so young."

Each year we work with approximately 40 young children like Austin, giving them the gift of hearing from a young age.

At the Eye and Ear we provide 100% of Victoria’s public cochlear implants. We have doubled the number of cochlear devices implanted in just seven years, after celebrating the 2000th cochlear implant surgery in 2010.

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