Born with a rare disease resulting in conductive hearing loss, Elly wanted a solution that would allow her to hear! Using the Cochlear™ Osia® 2 Sound Processor, she is now a successful model and has big plans for her future. Read Elly’s story below:


“My name is Elly; I’d love to share my hearing loss story with you. My hearing loss journey started at birth. I was born with a rare disease called Fanconi anemia which made my body not produce healthy blood cells in the bone marrow. As a result of this disease, I was left with no ear drums and both ear canals don’t go all the way through, leaving me with conductive hearing loss.

At approximately 7 years old I was granted my first hearing aid to wear in the form of a headband from Starkey®. As I grew up I went through a few of these hearing aids which helped me hear at about 80 percent. By the time I reached 15 years old, I had surgery on my left ear to try and open the ear canal to achieve hearing without the use of a hearing aid. Unfortunately, the right side could not be worked on due to a bone growth blocking the canal path; it was too risky to proceed with the right side. However, the surgery was in fact successful, and I was able to be ‘free’ of hearing aids for about 12 years!

It felt so good to feel ‘normal’ and be just like the other children at school. I was never really teased or made fun of for this, which I am grateful for. I loved teaching the children about why I needed the hearing aid and about my health. I almost felt a sense of pride sharing something different that most children don’t really have to think or worry about.

Elly, a woman with conductive hearing loss, who is a model posing for a professional photo with her arms crossed. A new opportunity for my conductive hearing loss

Fast forward to adulthood, I started noticing my hearing slowly starting to diminish over time. I was first made aware of this because I was constantly having to need people to repeat a sentence or ask to speak up much more often. I started to feel embarrassed and isolated because I knew that this was something not within my control and wanted to start exploring my options for getting new hearing aids.

I was recommended by my audiologist in Boston. I went in for a consultation to determine what type of hearing aid would work best for me. We went through a few different brands and types before sharing that I was a candidate for the Osia 2 Sound Processor.

My audiologist explained to me how the surgery would go and what to expect. He explained to me that a small magnetic piece would get placed under my skin behind my right ear where the bone is since that was the side that needed the most help. That magnetic piece would magnetically attach to the sound processor which also has a very small magnet to keep the sound processor in place.

I got to test out the Osia Sound Processor and let me tell you, I didn’t want to take it off! I went from hearing at around 40 percent in my left ear and almost deaf in the right ear to hearing nearly 100 percent on the right side with the Osia Sound Processor. I couldn’t wait to schedule this surgery!

Elly, a woman with conductive hearing loss, smiling for a close-up photo post-op with an ear cover over her left ear. Activating the Osia Sound Processor(s)

From the initial consultation to surgery day, I had to wait a few months and those were the longest few months of my life. My scheduled surgery date was September 2022, also in Boston. The surgery took about an hour under general anesthesia. I woke up with a special ear covering to protect the surgical site. After waiting a few hours for the anesthesia to wear off I was able to go home.

The first few days were a little rough as I still had on the protective covering. I was able to take that off on day two from surgery. I was able to see the incision where the invisible stitches were. I was told to not wash my hair for about a week to let everything heal.

About a month later, I was scheduled with an appointment to activate my sound processor. The activation day was one of the best days of my life. That appointment took a couple of hours to go over how to care for the processor and use it properly and also fine tune the sound.

A side profile picture of Elly, a woman with conductive hearing loss and her brown Osia Sound Processor attached to her head. Patience, perseverance and the mindset to keep moving forward

I took another hearing test to make sure my hearing levels were where they needed to be. While wearing the processor I am now able to hear 95 percent of sounds and noises from the right side. The first thing I said once I could hear properly was, ‘The world is so loud!’ and that’s the truth! Going from barely being able to hear to having near full hearing was absolutely life changing for me.

I’m now working as a model in my state of Rhode Island and have big plans for the future. This journey has taught me patience and perseverance and to always move forward. I’m more than happy to share more of my journey and story to anyone who will listen.

I hope that my story inspired you to go forward with your own hearing loss journey and experience life at full volume!”

If you, or any women you know are experiencing conductive hearing loss the Osia Sound Processor may be a solution for you. Learn about your options today!

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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.