Born with Microtia and Atresia, Daphne did not have fully developed ear or ear canal. A referral led her family to hearing health specialists that were able to provide a nonsurgical hearing solution which helped for a short time. After being introduced to the Cochlear™ Osia® System, Daphne’s family now feels like they have all the pieces of the hearing loss puzzle. Daphne’s story below:

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“When they first laid my daughter on my chest after she was born, her right side was facing up and I noticed right away her ear looked ‘different.’ I immediately pointed out her folded little ear to my husband and his response became our anthem: ‘It’s OK.’

Since then, each and every step we have taken with our daughter Daphne’s microtia journey has proved that anthem over and over.

After that initial shock of realizing she really was born without a fully developed right ear, I quickly learned that what my daughter has is a congenital condition called ‘Microtia,’ meaning little ear. We also learned she was born with ‘atresia’ meaning she had no right ear canal.

Daphne, a young girl who has been able to benefit from the Osia System now being available for children 5 and older, posing for a photo with her family after her implant procedure. A referral to lead us in the right direction

We had very little resources in our small city. We were referred to an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT) that did not recommend we do anything to aid her hearing on her right side. Thankfully, through a local organization we were informed of an audiologist with ties to Children’s Miracle Network®.

My daughter was fitted for a bone conduction device on a soft band when she was just shy of 6 months old. This processor would sit tight against her head to send sound directly through bone conduction, bypassing the middle ear which she did not have.

In the years following, Daphne went for yearly audiograms with an audiologist, was given an individualized education plan (IEP) and placed in an early learning program. She thrived wearing her hearing device to school on her ‘headband’ that I found, that’s custom made, to hold her processor. We also were able to get a reconstruction surgery for her right ear from a wonderful surgeon in California, using the Su-Por implant ear reconstruction method when she was 4 years of age.

I am grateful we were able to do this for our daughter.

Daphne, a young girl who benefits from the Osia System being available for children 5 and older, smiling for a photo, in front of a table with play-doh, and wearing an ear cover from her procedure. Daphne receives a hearing solution

The surgeon was encouraging about our choice with our daughter’s hearing and mentioned that there would always be evolving hearing aid technology.

As soon as the availability was open for us to pursue an abutment surgery, we made the trek to a larger city and underwent a surgery where a surgeon placed an abutment1 into her skull. She ended up going through two unsuccessful surgeries between the years 2021-2022.

The last surgery she was able to wear her device for two weeks before she received a bump on the head, where the abutment started to wiggle loose. To say we were devastated was an understatement. We had worked so hard to find Daphne a hearing solution for the long term.

While sitting in an appointment for Daphne, the surgeon mentioned the Cochlear Osia System2. It was hard to switch from disappointment to more research right away, but we checked with our insurance and were able to receive pre-approval for the Osia Sound Processor. Even though the last thing we wanted to do was put her through another surgery, we also wanted to make strides in her hearing and finish this final piece of a puzzle we had been attempting to complete since she was born.

We managed to squeeze in a surgery in December 20223. I will never forget being in a hospital around Christmas time. Once again, I was reminded of our anthem. It really is OK. There was so much to be grateful for. I was reminded of all the many steps and medical professionals who had helped us get this far.

Since getting fitted a few weeks after her Osia surgery, our daughter has worn her Osia Sound Processor to school every single day. She is an active 9-year-old, leading a vibrant social life and doing well in school with her studies.

She is not ever embarrassed about her sound processor which was my main concern with the size of the Osia Sound Processor. She loves the quality of sound which also makes me so happy.

A picture from behind, showing Daphne's Osia System, and Osia Sound Processor attached to her head. She is able to benefit from the Osia System being cleared for children 5 and older. The future and looking forward!

Cheerleading is a new pursuit for her and she doesn’t hesitate to wear her Osia Sound Processor with a high pony tail as she’s cheering at games. She also loves that she can wear things over it without much feedback. She can throw on a hat or wear a hood and it doesn’t interfere with her hearing. I am amazed at how fast the healing time was and how much more comfortable I was having everything under her skin and not able to get snagged or hit on something.

In looking back and remembering the nurse placing her on my chest as a tiny infant, I wish I could tell that mom what a journey she was just beginning. The people she would meet, the medical terms she would learn, the technology that would be developed…it all really is going to be OK.”

The Osia System has been cleared for children ages five and older in the U.S., if your child is experiencing hearing loss learn about this solution today!

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  1. Refer to your health care professional for guidance on timeline for activation and follow ups.
  2. In the United States and Canada, the Osia System is indicated for children ages five and older. In the United States and Canada, the placement of a bone-anchored implant is contraindicated in children below the age of 5. Patients should have sufficient bone quality and quantity to support successful implant placement. Surgery is required to use this product. Any surgical procedure carries risk.
  3. In the United States and Canada, the Osia System is indicated for children ages five and older. In the United States and Canada, the placement of a bone-anchored implant is contraindicated in children below the age of 5. Patients should have sufficient bone quality and quantity to support successful implant placement. Surgery is required to use this product. Any surgical procedure carries risk.
  4. © 2024 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a not-for-profit, section 501(c)(3)
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.