When Addison was around 1 year old and only saying a few words, her parents knew something wasn’t quite right. They pushed for further testing and it was eventually discovered that she had profound sensorineural hearing loss. After learning more about hearing loss solutions, Addison’s parents knew that cochlear implants would be the best choice for her future.


“I had no complications during my pregnancy or delivery. Addison passed her newborn hearing screening at birth. Actually, Addison passed all of her developmental tests/screenings with flying colors. We presented some concerns to our pediatrician that Addison was only saying ‘Mama’ and had said ‘up’ once, but our pediatrician told us that her receptive language was so developed that there was nothing to be concerned about. She said that she would talk, but just be a late talker.

Addison, who has profound sensorineural hearing loss, at danceThen, the ear infections started. After the tenth one, Addison’s father, Brad, and I requested an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT) referral which led to her receiving ear tubes in June 2012. When we went for the hearing screening in July, she failed. We were shocked! She had always done what we told her and turned to her name. In August 2012, she had an auditory brainstem response (ABR) test done at our local children’s hospital. That was when we found out Addison had profound sensorineural hearing loss, and that’s when our journey began.

Choosing Cochlear for Addison

Addison who has profound sensorineural hearing lossWe knew almost immediately that cochlear implants would be the best route for us, but we didn’t realize we would have to choose a specific brand. During one of our early appointments with Addison’s surgeon, we were given a chance to look at and discuss the cochlear implant brand options. We chose Cochlear very quickly because we learned that the brand was not only the first brand used at our hospital but also because it was the brand most frequently chosen by patients and families at our hospital.

When examining the brands, we also liked the more streamlined sound processor that Cochlear offered. For a 2-year-old, we felt it not only had a great reputation, but it looked like the right sound processor for Addison to wear most comfortably. Just ten days after turning 2, Addison had her cochlear implant surgery on November 26, 2012.

I knew we had made a great choice with Cochlear, particularly when recalling a stressful event that I can now look back on and laugh about. Addison had fallen asleep on the way home, and this was right around the time we had gotten our new labrador retriever, Abby. Once home, I let Abby out of her crate, put Addison’s sound processors on the kitchen island and carried her up to bed. When I came back downstairs, there sat Abby with BOTH sound processors, chewed into a hundred pieces right in front of her! I called Cochlear’s wonderful customer service, who were incredibly helpful and explained that because the cochlear implant sound processors were under warranty, they would be able to overnight a new pair to us. Let’s just say, I never put them down like that again.

A new discovery

Addison, who has profound sensorineural hearing loss, getting interviewedAddison started to attend the local school for hearing and speech in March of 2013. Sometime after our enrollment, we had genetic testing completed and found out Addison’s hearing loss is due to a Connexin 26 gene mutation, which is genetic and means it’s likely she was deaf at birth. She attended the toddler program and then graduated from that school after completing the preschool program.

Addison was then mainstreamed and attended the local school for Pre-K, and before we knew it, she was on her way to the K-5 elementary school. Addison is currently a 4th grader who enjoys school a lot. She is a social butterfly and loves to meet new people, and she has even earned straight A’s on all her report cards thus far.

Addison’s bright future

Addison, who has profound sensorineural hearing loss, with her dance awardAddison’s favorite extracurricular activity is dancing. She is on the mini competitive team at her dance studio. She performs jazz, tap, ballet, acro and lyrical. When Addison was implanted, she wore the Nucleus® 5 Sound Processors. She had her first upgrade at age 7 and has worn the Nucleus® 7 Sound Processors for the last three years. She loves her N7s!  Addison tells us that she not only hears better with the N7s, but she also enjoys using all the accessories, like the iPhone®1 capabilities and the Nucleus Smart App features2.

She loves listening to music and playing games while the sound streams directly to her sound processors. Addison uses the Nucleus Smart App to easily turn the volume up and down and change programs for different learning environments.

When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she answers either an ENT doctor to help children the way her doctor has helped her, or a news reporter to share news with people and be on television. Addison was even interviewed by a news station to promote the CHP 2020 Telethon. No matter where life takes her, we will be forever grateful for the amazing technology Cochlear has offered to Addison!”

Was your child diagnosed with profound sensorineural hearing loss? Discover more on getting your child access to sound today.

  1. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
  2. 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.