Nancy B. was born with Treacher Collins syndrome and coped with her hearing loss for many years, going through multiple surgeries and multiple pairs of behind-the-ear hearing aids. Realizing she was going to force demote herself from her position at work because of her struggles to hear, Nancy was ready for a change. In came the Cochlear™ Baha® System and with one simple surgery, Nancy got a renewed zest for work opportunities:


“I was born with Treacher Collins syndrome. As a child, I struggled through school and was just an average student. I was sent to school at the beginning of each school year with a note for the teacher to put me in the front row, so I could see what she or he was saying, but many times the teachers would walk or move about and I missed much of what was said. Even so, I was determined to keep plugging away. Reading and listening to music were my escapes, and one of the best days of my life was graduating from high school.

Hearing loss getting in the way of work

Nancy with Treacher CollinsIn early 2015, I realized I was struggling to hear on the phone at work in the claims customer service area (our call center), and I decided that, rather than fall below expected standards, I would have to work in a lower job grade within the same department. My plan was to continue working for six or more years because I am in reasonably good health and love where I work and what I do.

The surgeries I had as a teen and the behind-the ear-hearing aids that I had worn for many years began to not work for me anymore. My audiologist and doctor recommended I get a bone conduction implant, as there were no further corrective inner ear surgeries that could be done to help me.

Simple Baha System surgery

In October 2017, I received an approval on an application for the Baha System to be donated to me from a neurological institute. The abutment was put in on December 7, 2017, and I was fitted for the sound processor weeks after. The surgery was very simple. I was at the hospital by 8:30 in the morning and home by 1:00 in the afternoon that same day. I was sent home with pain medication and used only one tablet around dinnertime, and then went back to sleep. I was even able to go to work the following Monday, and I felt great the day after the surgery.

I have really enjoyed being able to have more engaged conversations with family and friends without straining or pretending to hear what is being said.

Nancy with Treacher Collins and her Baha SystemI now have the Baha 5 Sound Processor, and I have really enjoyed being able to have more engaged conversations with family and friends without straining or pretending to hear what is being said. I am also really enjoying going to my department and company meetings, since I have a much clearer hearing capability. I work in an office cubicle and was always startled when someone came up to my cube. Now, people are not able to sneak up on me. Plus, I can hear more of what is going on around me. I love it!

Favorite sounds and moments of hearing

I am so grateful for the sounds I have heard and things I have enjoyed since getting the Baha System. Some of my favorite moments have been hearing the birds chirp, babies cry, puppies whimper, coyotes howl, cats purr and meow, fish jump out of the water and, last but not least, conversations with family and friends. Some of the things I enjoy doing are volunteering, shopping or running errands for those that cannot, taking family and friends on day trips and going to concerts and movies. Better hearing has definitely made a difference in all aspects of my life.

Nancy with Treacher Collins and the accessories she usesI have my Baha 5 Sound Processor paired with my iPhone® and use it as a remote control for my sound processor. I just recently received the True Wireless™ TV Streamer accessory so I can watch TV at a comfortable volume for me and not have to blast my husband out of the living room. In the future, I plan to be an advocate for seniors, by helping them wade through the paperwork to apply for services that help them stay in their homes or help them understand the process for getting medical care or services.”

Do you have Treacher Collins? Are your hearing aids not helping you hear? Take the next step and learn about the Baha System today.

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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.