Two parents and a grandfather celebrate their children and grandchild’s Cochlear implants with tattoos, a permanent recognition of the gift that let their loved one hear. See the stories below and learn why their body art is an important form of expression for them:

Amy W. on her spouse’s tattoo in recognition of their son, Jazz

Why did your spouse want to get a tattoo celebrating your son’s Cochlear implants?

“There was one point that our son, Jazz, said he felt alone due to not interacting with kids like himself when he moved into a mainstream school. When he shared he felt alone, it was heartbreaking to hear as parents. My spouse decided, without a doubt, she would get a tattoo of his Cochlear implants that had his favorite covers.

We involved Jazz in the process by going down to the tattoo artist and having pictures taken of his ‘ears’ for the stencil. When our son saw the finished product, he asked if they were real because they looked so real to him. The joy and happiness on his face was just as priceless as the first time we told him we loved him and he could hear us!”

What do your son’s Cochlear implants mean to you?

“It means he has access to the hearing world and can escape to complete quiet if he chooses. When we learned Jazz was deaf, the fears started. Would he never hear us say we love him? Would he never call us Mommy and Poppi? It was a very long and tough journey to decide what would be best for Jazz, but we wanted to give him every single opportunity in which to succeed in this world from as young an age as possible. When the time came to introduce Jazz to the hearing world, I could not have imagined the depth of this miracle. When we said his name and he looked at us, our hearts wept with a level of unmeasured happiness and joy. Jazz’s Cochlear implants represents a miracle and freedom.”

Sarah M. on why she got a tattoo in recognition of her daughter, Shalini

Why did you want to get a tattoo celebrating your daughter’s Cochlear implants?

“I got the tattoo because I wanted her to know she is not alone, and I am with her even when we are apart. This was my way of showing my support to her and how proud I am of her and all she has accomplished.”

What do your daughter’s Cochlear implants mean to you?

“Shalini’s Cochlear implants are a miracle to me. It means she can hear, can communicate with others and try to have a ‘normal life.’ It’s a tool that will help her through life, and I am amazed at how much she has accomplished in the last two years since receiving her implants. I feel Shalini has a fair shot in school, making friends, and just playing and being a normal little girl.”

Jessica K. on why her dad got a tattoo in recognition of her daughter, Paige

Why did your dad, Paige’s grandfather, want to get a tattoo celebrating your daughter’s Cochlear implants?

“My dad has always been Paige’s biggest cheerleader. She used to hide her cochlear implants and was ashamed of them. I didn’t even know my dad was thinking about getting a tattoo; he just showed up one day and had a tattoo. He wanted to surprise everybody, which he did, but it didn’t surprise me that he got it because he would do anything for Paige. He didn’t want her to feel alone, and now she is not.

My dad’s been by Paige’s side every step of the way, from going to every cochlear implant appointment, helping her with rehabilitation, to even teaching her how to drive. You can tell that my dad is very proud to have his tattoo. People will ask about it, and he’ll tell them what a cochlear implant is, how it works, and just educate people so if they ever come across someone with a hearing implant they won’t stare and make them feel different.

My dad says, ‘I thought it would be something to do so she wouldn’t be the only one asked about her cochlear implants.’”

What do your daughter’s Cochlear implants mean to you?

“We are very hopeful for Paige’s future because she has made a lot of gains with her Cochlear implants as well as through her own sheer determination. As a family, we’re very encouraging, and we’re always there for her.”

If you or a loved one is struggling with hearing loss, learn more about hearing solutions at www.cochlear.com/us.

If your child has hearing loss, visit IWantYouToHear.com for more information on hearing solutions. 

Renee Oehlerking
Renee Oehlerking is the Public Relations Manager at Cochlear Americas where she is responsible for the region’s public relations and consumer marketing social media. Renee enjoys uncovering, telling and showcasing the inspiring stories of hearing implant recipients. As a recent transplant to Denver, Colorado, Renee enjoys exploring all that the state has to offer outdoors.