Name: Keenan Murphy

University: Manhattan College

Major: Pre-medical

Processor: Nucleus® 5, bilateral

Meet Keenan, a 2018 Graeme Clark Scholarship Winner! 

When Keenan was 4 years old, his parents began to notice a decrease in his hearing. They took him to an audiologist who diagnosed him with significant hearing impairment in both ears.

He used hearing aids until he was 9 years old, when he became a candidate for the Cochlear™ Nucleus® System and was implanted on his right side. He was 11 years old when he was implanted on his left side.

Keenan said he adjusted very quickly to hearing with cochlear implants, and now he loves being able to turn on his processor and experience the world of sound.

“The change goes from night to day, hearing nothing to hearing everything,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a rush because it’s really a diverse change. It’s really amazing to think about going from total sensory loss to full hearing, and it’s just amazing what science has done.”

Keenan said his processors allow him to connect with the people who matter most.

“My favorite sound to hear would probably be the laughing of my six-year-old nephew. We really have a rapport,” he said. “Without cochlear implants, we would struggle with communication, but with the implants I’m able to hear and be a role model for him.”

Keenan is currently pursuing the pre-medical track at Manhattan College, which he chose because of its academic programs and its location.

“The college is a very esteemed program for biology and medicine, and that just really drew me,” he said. “Especially with Manhattan being one of the largest centers for medicine, business, anything—the opportunities are far superior here than anywhere else.”

He said his goal is to become an anesthesiologist and serve the U.S. Navy in the Fleet Marine Force.

“As a young child, going through surgeries, I always found the most reassuring person is the anesthesiologist,” he said. “I want to give other patients that assurance and that care.”

Keenan said he is grateful because his cochlear implants have given him countless opportunities.

“They’ve afforded me the opportunity to overcome obstacles, leveled the playing field for me, allowed me to communicate in sports and family life, and will allow me to communicate with patients,” he said.

Keenan said he finds inspiration in his parents.

“Everything they’ve done they’ve done for my family, worked hard their entire lives to make sure we can enjoy and lead nice lives,” he said. “I really appreciate that.”

His advice for others with hearing loss is to look for a solution that will work for them.

“Seek out options, because hearing is an important sense,” he said. “With the technology that’s out there today, getting implanted or having hearing aids can really change someone’s life.”


The Cochlear Graeme Clark Scholarship is a unique award open to Nucleus® Cochlear Implant recipients around the world. It honors academic achievement and a demonstrated commitment to the Cochlear ideals of leadership and humanity.

For more information on the Graeme Clark Scholarship, click here.

Skylar Mason
As a journalism student, Baha recipient, and Anders Tjellström Scholarship winner, Skylar is excited to join the team at Cochlear as an intern to tell the stories of other CI and Baha recipients! She attends the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.