Renee W. was surprised when her daughter, Sammi, was born with bilateral microtia and atresia, never expecting to have a hearing-impaired child. Sammi started her hearing journey with the Cochlear™ Baha® Sound Processor on the Baha® Softband soon after diagnosis, and then years later, she moved to the Baha® Implant System*. Never allowing her hearing loss to hold her back, Sammi is about to start college and will be playing basketball too! Check out Sammi’s story now:
“Our daughter Sammi just graduated from high school and will be heading off to college in the fall. Sammi was born with bilateral microtia and atresia; this began our journey with a hearing-impaired child.
We met with the ear doctor in the hospital before we even went home. With two other kids at home, we were kind of at a loss on what to do next…with a lot of guidance from our liaison, we were able to get Sammi started on her road to hearing and speech. Sammi started out by getting the Baha Sound Processor on the Baha Softband, and she started speech therapy around 6 months old.
Baha Implant surgery
As Sammi progressed through speech therapy and preschool, and it was getting close to time to start kindergarten, her doctor talked to us about the options available for her hearing. Reconstructive surgery or the Baha Implant System were our two options…we chose to go the route of the bone conduction implant. Sammi had the Baha Implant surgery and about six months later, her Baha Sound Processor was placed on the abutment for the first time, and there was no looking back.
We chose to wait an extra year before Sammi started kindergarten, as we wanted to let her get accustomed to all the new sounds and work with the speech therapist with her new device. Sammi has always gone to regular school with some small accommodations in the classroom, and she has excelled. I think her Cochlear Baha System is amazing.
Never limiting Sammi
We let Sammi do everything that her brother, sister and any other kid her age would do. We never limited her because of her hearing loss or her implant. Her Baha devices and little ears are just a part of who she is.
Sammi played multiple sports while growing up and she is an amazing artist and basketball player. Basketball is her primary sport and she has been playing it since third grade. She has played AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) ball since sixth grade and played varsity in high school since her sophomore year. She not only will be continuing her education at Dominican University, but she will also be playing basketball there too.
Loving the Baha 5 technology
Last spring, Sammi got the new Baha® 5 Sound Processors. Sammi finds the Baha 5 technology awesome! She loves that technology exists that allows her to hear and stream directly from her iPhone® right to her Baha 5 Sound Processors via Bluetooth®. She loves to watch movies and listen to music.
Being able to have her phone calls come right to the Baha 5 Sound Processors has really helped her confidence when talking on the phone. She was always worried about not hearing the other person correctly, now she does not have to worry about any of that.
You would not even know that Sammi has a hearing loss because her speech is so clear, and she has adapted so well with her Baha System. We cannot wait to see what is next for our daughter and the Baha technology.
As parents, we are amazed by Sammi and how she deals with the challenges of her hearing loss. We know it is not easy for her and are proud at how hard she has worked to get to where she is today.”