Have you seen the viral video of mother, Anna E., and her child, Ayla’s cochlear implant activation? The sentiments that Anna experienced were palpable and showcases how emotional a cochlear implant activation can be. We asked Anna for her perspective on the journey to her daughter’s cochlear implant and what being a part of a viral video has been like!

How did Ayla lose her hearing and what made you choose to have her get a cochlear implant?

Ayla, who had a cochlear implant activation video, and family“When Ayla failed her newborn screening at the hospital, it was annoying, but did not seem that bad. But after we took her back and she failed it again, we knew something was wrong. We would make loud noises just to see if she would react, but she never did. With every appointment, we learned more about the depth of her hearing loss. It seemed like our hopes kept slipping further away, and we began preparing ourselves for life without Ayla hearing. We let go of some things, like her knowing the sound of our voices, the sound of music or the sound of laughter. We prepared ourselves to see her enjoy those things in a different way, through the vibration of them, to ‘hear’ with her eyes. When we found out that cochlear implants were an option for her, sound became a reality for her again, and the things we had let go of suddenly came rushing back!”

Why did you decide on Cochlear as the brand for Ayla’s cochlear implant?

Ayla, with cochlear implants, who had a viral cochlear implant activation video“Having Ayla’s surgery at such a young age, we wanted to ensure the device she received would function now but also work for her when she is an adult. Since she will be dealing with her brand’s customer service for the rest of her life, we also wanted a company with a reputation for excellent customer care. Finally, we wanted her to have the option of using a smaller, low-profile device that works as well as the larger devices. When we added everything up, Cochlear was the clear leader.”

What cochlear implant sound processor and/or accessories do you use?

Ayla, whose cochlear implant activation video went viral, and family“Right now, we mostly use the Cochlear Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor, but we expect to transition into using the Kanso® Sound Processor more once Ayla is older. The accessories we use the most are the Aqua+1 kit when we go to the pool and the Nucleus Smart App for our iPhones®23. The benefits have been incredible, so far she already turns to sounds, she has started learning our names and her own, and she loves to point at different things around the house so we can tell her what they are called.”

What is next for Ayla? Any goals for her?

Ayla who had a cochlear implant activation video“In the short term, Ayla will continue her auditory-verbal therapy so that she can work on understanding sounds and her ability to speak can catch up to her peers. She is already making sounds we have never heard her make before, and she is responding to sound consistently! Long term, she can do anything now! Kids like her are growing up and breaking down barriers every day, so by the time she grows up there is nothing that can hold her back. She loves the sound of her own voice, so who knows, maybe she will become a singer!”

What has it been like having your daughter’s cochlear implant activation video go viral?

Ayla, who had a viral cochlear implant activation video“Having Ayla’s video go viral was a bit overwhelming, but we are also grateful that more people have heard about cochlear implants and the world of sound they can open up to kids like Ayla. Our hope from the beginning is that her story would encourage others who are in a similar situation and help them to know that as hard as the process is, on parents and their child, for our family it has been completely worth it, and we would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”

Are you looking into cochlear implants as a solution for your child? Learn more today.

  1. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is water resistant to level IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. This water protection rating means that the sound processor with the Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of 3 m (9 ft and 9 in) for up to 2 hours. This water protection only applies when you use a Cochlear Standard Rechargeable Battery Module or Cochlear Compact Rechargeable Battery Module.
  2. ©2019. iPhone, iPad and FaceTime are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
  3. For information on sound processor and app compatibility, visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility.
Cara Lippitt
Cara Lippitt is the Senior Manager, Social Media Strategy at Cochlear Americas. Cara is inspired by the stories of the recipients that she is able to tell and the incredible journeys they have taken. Cara was born and raised in Colorado and adores the mountains, snow and the world of musical theatre.