Kiaan, an infant with sensorineural hearing loss, along with his family, found his way to cochlear implants after failed newborn hearing screenings. When his cochlear implants were activated, he immediately smiled and responded well. He loves music, dancing and with his mom, has now even created an Instagram to show his adventures to the world. Read more below:


“Kiaan came into our lives as the perfect Thanksgiving gift on November 24th. Despite the exhaustion of going through a fairly long delivery, I was literally on top of the world when I first held him in my arms. My husband and elder son were also elated as we all felt that our family of four is now complete.

A shocking discovery and a new reality

Kiaan, an infant with sensorineural hearing loss at DisneyWe could not wait to get discharged from the hospital and go back to our home where our friends and family were waiting with bated breath to welcome the little one. However, Kiaan wasn’t even 24 hours old when he failed his first newborn hearing screening. My husband and I were shocked to hear the results as there were no pregnancy related complications and no family history of hearing issues. We just attributed this to a user error or fluid in his tiny newborn ears. The team ran the test a second time while we were still there, coming up with the same result. We left the hospital with a referral for further testing, never in a million years imagining the journey we had ahead of us.

About a month later, we went into an audiology office for an auditory brainstem response test (ABR), and it was confirmed that there was severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears. I believe that day was the hardest day of my life.

The next few months were filled with so much worry, heartache and fear, while also being in complete denial. We got a second opinion and then had a repeat ABR after a couple of months, all confirming what we already knew but hadn’t accepted – Kiaan was deaf and our whole world seemed to have flipped upside down.

Finding the Cochlear path

Kiaan, an infant with sensorineural hearing loss in a hammockAfter coming to terms with this painful truth, we channeled our energy to figure out the best path forward. We were fortunate to be surrounded by a well-qualified and motivated team that helped us get access to the right information and resources. He was fitted for hearing aids through the state’s special education program once he turned 6 months old to see if his access to sound would improve. Based on our own research and expert opinion, we knew from the very beginning that with Kiaan’s degree of hearing loss, the hearing aids may not be enough for him to hear properly. We did see a small change in behavior and a few extra baby babbles than we were used to, but after a few months of wearing the aids, it just wasn’t enough. We then concluded that if we wanted Kiaan to develop spoken language, we would have to explore other options.

A cochlear implant seemed like the best option to enable Kiaan to lead a normal life. Given his diagnosis, he was a clear candidate for the implants and the doctors recommended getting them as early as possible once he turned 1 year old.

We chose to move forward with Cochlear because of their leading technology and the fact that our doctor highly recommended them for children. Our doctor and audiologist seemed to be most familiar with the Cochlear brand, which also made us extra comfortable with the surgery and the customer service reviews were like no other.

The gift of sound for Kiaan’s birthday

Kiaan, an infant with sensorineural hearing loss and his N7 Kiaan received his cochlear implants a week after his 1st birthday. The surgery was five hours long, but the cochlear implants were not ‘activated’ right away. The moment of truth came around 3-4 weeks once he had healed properly. At his activation, we did not have one of those amazing YouTube1 moments, but he did smile immediately and responded very well when he heard us speak to him. Kiaan wasn’t overwhelmed or bothered by the new world he was experiencing; it looked like he was just taking it all in. It was an amazing moment that I will never forget.

Since he was activated, we have worked hard every day to catch him up on his speech delay. He has been in weekly speech and auditory verbal therapy since he was 1 year old. Thanks to his ongoing therapies and continual refinement of his device setting by the audiologist, Kiaan is now at par with normal kids in terms of hearing and speech skills.

Over the past four years, we’ve seen Kiaan thrive and live a normal life. We’ve watched him learn to recognize and localize relevant sounds. He loves music and dancing; two things I never imagined would be possible.

A hero is born – Kiaan and his super ears

Kiaan, an infant with sensorineural hearing loss and Kaci the KoalaMost days, his ‘super ears’ are the first thing he asks for in the morning and the last thing he wants off before bed. Thanks to his Aqua+ accessory2, Kiaan has access to sound even at the pool!  His vocabulary is growing daily, and sometimes I’m not even sure how he learned some of the things that he says. Seeing my boy come back excitedly from school and share the things he is discovering makes it all worth it.

Kiaan is most comfortable with the Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor as he likes their fit with the Snugfits. They seamlessly connect via Bluetooth®3 with our iPad®4 and iPhone®5 making listening to music or watching his favorite shows in the car ride super easy for him.

Through COVID, Kiaan has been attending a local preschool in-person, and we are so happy that starting August 2022, he started in Transitional Kindergarten! Since the school settings can be extremely noisy, we have leveraged both the Cochlear Mini Mic 2+ and an FM hearing aid to help Kiaan hear better in school. These accessories are worn by the teacher and enable the sound to go directly into Kiaan’s cochlear implants to make teacher’s instructions sound clearer to him.

We’ve seen some amazing growth these past 3-4 years and we are so thankful for this technology and the gift of sound. We know we made the right decision for our family. Kiaan and I have even created an Instagram6 channel (@kiaans_adventures), to share his adventures with the rest of the world. Feel free to check it out!”

Was your infant diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss? A cochlear implant may help your child, just like it has helped Kiaan.

  1. © 2022 Google LLC
  2. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is water resistant to level IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. This water protection means that the sound processor with the Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of 3 meters (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. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is water-resistant to level IP57 of the International Standard IEC60529 without the Aqua+ accessory for the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor.
  3. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Cochlear is under license.
  4. iPhone and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
  5. iPhone and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
  6. © 2022 Meta
  7. In the US, the cochlear implant system is intended for use in children 9 to 24 months of age who have bilateral profound sensorineural deafness and demonstrate limited benefit from appropriate binaural hearing aids. Children two years of age or older may demonstrate severe to profound hearing loss bilaterally.
Jesse Griego
Jesse Griego is the Social Media Specialist at Cochlear Americas. Jesse finds inspiration daily in the resiliency of our recipients and their hearing journeys. Jesse was born and raised in Colorado and in his free time enjoys being a wrestling and lacrosse coach, playing guitar and being with his hound dog.