Jessica and Matt, parents of three young girls started identifying signs of delayed speech and struggles with communication in their girls. After testing, it was determined that their oldest two had experienced hearing loss. They found cochlear implants and are thankful for the early detection of hearing loss in their children. Read about their family’s story below:


“Almost two years ago, our worlds were forever changed. My husband, Matt and I, were busy planning our soon to be three-year-old daughter’s birthday party at a local waterpark. We watched her jump and cheer, as her face was full of joy knowing her special day was coming up. She danced in a circle smiling from ear to ear as she held hands with her younger sister, Sophie, who was one and a half years old. I was busy ordering and organizing everything to go with the mermaid theme, which was what Leah chose.

I hugged my girls so tight and couldn’t believe that soon they wouldn’t be my only two. At the time, I was three months pregnant with our third child. My two girls were the best of friends; they did everything together. Their love for one another was like nothing I had ever seen, or ever felt.

The joy and gratitude I felt in my heart on Leah’s birthday was overpowering the fear and worries I had. I wanted to do everything in my power to make sure my sweet girl had the most special and memorable day, surrounded by all her family and friends, so I did my best to push those feelings aside.

Jessica, Matt who noticed signs of hearing loss in their children Sophie & Leah, posing for a family photo in front of a tropical, plant background. Noticing a struggle in our little girl

My husband and I began to worry six months prior to her third birthday, as we noticed that her speech was delayed when she was two and a half years old. After months of endless doctor appointments, specialist consultations, and speech therapy, we knew there was an explanation as to why our happy, healthy, bright and bubbly girl was struggling with receptive and expressive speech and communication skills.

Four days after Leah’s perfect third mermaid birthday party, in March 2022, an auditory brainstem response (ABR) test confirmed she had moderate to severe sensorineural bilateral hearing loss. When the audiologist shared her diagnosis, my heart felt like it had shattered into a million pieces. I fell to the bathroom floor, sobbing and cried until I had no tears left. I began to grieve the life I had imagined for my daughter, but through the heartbreak I knew I would do anything and everything I possibly could to ensure she lived a happy, full life.

My incredibly brave, strong, powerful girl was going to continue to reach for the stars and achieve all her hopes and dreams. Matt and I went into ‘action’ mode and made the appointments we needed to. Leah was fit for her hearing aids, which we called ‘super ears’, and was wearing them within a matter of weeks. She adjusted to this new world of hearing and with a lot of hard work, hours, and effort, we watched her continue to bloom & blossom.

Sophie & Leah whose parents started noticing signs of hearing loss, posing for a picture sitting at a restaurant table, eating ice cream cones. A diagnosis that was unimaginable

A couple of months later, we had an appointment with a geneticist. Up until this time in our journey, we did not yet have an explanation for Leah’s hearing loss. I was up many nights wondering how my daughter, who once danced to music, sang and was a typical speaking infant, could have lost her hearing. Three weeks after our appointment, I got a call I could have never imagined. Our geneticist confirmed that Leah’s hearing loss is progressive and was caused by the MYO15A recessive gene. At the time, I was 37 weeks pregnant. I was not only worried about Leah, but now was overcome with endless anxieties and concern about my two-year-old daughter, Sophie, and our baby.

That week, we took Sophie to the geneticist to have the same testing done as Leah. Sophie was also a happy, healthy, giggly, outgoing baby and met all the infant speech milestones. It wasn’t until a few weeks prior that we began to worry that her vocabulary, which had been expanding so quickly, began to slow down. Her articulation and pronunciation that was once quite clear began to be less comprehensible. We were again in a hard stage, awaiting answers.

In August 2022 our third daughter was born. I held my beautiful baby girl in my arms and on that day, I grew a third heart.

Big sisters Leah and Sophie were transitioning to a new school year at Pre-Montessori school in our community. They were eagerly waiting for their baby sister, Mila, to come home. The day she was born, we arranged for the geneticist to test her in the hospital. As difficult as it was, Matt and I had decided that we wanted to know if she too would be affected, so we could begin to accept the answer of our reality and take action, if need be. We hugged our baby girl so tight and were off to bring Mila home, whose name means miracle.

Sophie & Leah, whose parents noticed signs of hearing loss, smiling and posing for a photo together at school.A new little one joins the family and a new technology as well

The day Leah, Sophie and Mila met was the most memorable, special day of our lives. Our hearts were full of so much love. The days and nights flew by, as they often do with a newborn at home.

Three weeks later, our geneticist called with Sophie and Mila’s results. My husband and I will never forget this day. He shared that Sophie had the same hearing loss as Leah and Mila was just a carrier and would be unaffected. We felt heartbreak all over again, but at the same time made ourselves the same promise. We will do everything we possibly can to make sure Sophie reaches for the stars and soars in the sky. We pushed back our tears and took Leah and Sophie to their favorite ice cream store. We watched our girls enjoy every last lick of their ice-cream cones with sprinkles and knew in that moment, somehow, someway, everything was going to be okay.

In January 2023, Leah and Sophie underwent bilateral cochlear implant surgery. I will forever be amazed by their bravery, strength and resilience that they showed us that day – and every day since. It was three weeks of endless art activities, visits from family and friends and hugs from their baby sister Mila.

A few weeks later our girls were given the gift of sound. Activation day was a day we will forever remember. We went with the Cochlear brand and received the Nucleus® 8 Sound Processor and Kanso® 2 Sound Processor for both of the girls. We loved the idea of the Aqua+*1waterproof accessory since we love swimming and live right near the beach.

Matt & Jessica, who noticed signs of hearing loss in their children Sophie & Leah, posing for a family photo at the clinic, showing a sign that reads "Happy Hearing Day."How we use cochlear implant technology daily

Our energetic and active girls scooter down the street, as they hear the birds chirping and fire truck sirens in the distance. They dance to the music in gymnastics and summersault across the room. There are no words to express our gratitude for Cochlear, and for all the endless opportunities Leah and Sophie now have thanks to this incredible technology. We know this is only the beginning for them; we truly could not be prouder parents.

The new Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is so lightweight and comfortable for their toddler ears. Leah and Sophie wear their devices all day long at school and their teachers have the option of using the Mini Microphone for direct sound.

As I mentioned, we live near the beach and my girls love swimming, so the Aqua+ is another amazing accessory we have. Also, the customer service at Cochlear could not be better. The support we have received was beyond anything we could have imagined. There is always somebody available to assist us with our needs or answer any questions we may have.

My husband and I use the Nucleus Smart App2 on our phone3 and are able to adjust their levels and programming with a simple touch of a button. Since wearing their new Cochlear devices and working with our Auditory-Verbal therapists (AVT), the girls’ articulation and pronunciation is so much clearer and they are so much more engaged in social situations. Nothing makes my heart happier as their mother to see them love their new magic super ears as they do.

Our superHEARo girls shine so bright, and I know they are going to change the world. Thank you, Cochlear.”

If your child/children are experiencing signs of hearing loss, a cochlear implant may help! Learn about your options.

  1. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529 when you use a Cochlear Power Extend Rechargeable Battery Module or Cochlear Compact Rechargeable Battery Module. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor with Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of up to 3 meters for up to 2 hours. The Aqua+ accessory should be used when participating in prolonged water activities. Refer to the relevant user guide for more information. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is dust and water resistant to level of 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 up to 3 meters (9 feet and 9 inches) for up to 2 hours. The Aqua+ accessory should be used when participating in prolonged water activities.
  2. Nucleus Smart App is available on App Store and Google Play. For compatibility information, visit
  3. For a full list of smartphone and app compatible devices, visit:
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.