Mandy’s life drastically changed for the better once she received her first cochlear implant. With blessing upon blessing giving her momentum and courage, the realization that her newly set wedding date fell on her cochlear implant anniversary felt like fate. Upon reflection, Mandy credits her cochlear implant for creating the spark that ignited the fire within her.
“When my husband and I began planning our wedding back in early 2019, we knew we wanted to get married in the fall. The weather in the Washington, D.C. area is typically beautiful, and our chosen venue was a farm which would be highlighted by the picturesque autumnal surroundings. After looking at a calendar and confirming with the venue, the memorable and simplistic date of ‘10-10-20’ was available and we were set.
It wasn’t until a couple of months later while I was brushing my teeth that I realized the date of October 10th was already an incredibly significant date for me. Six years prior to our planned wedding day, on October 10, 2014, I had surgery to receive my first cochlear implant. I couldn’t believe that I initially didn’t remember the date and I got goosebumps from the coincidence. But the fact that I had forgotten was a true testament to how far I had come. It became crystal clear to me how the act of receiving my first cochlear implant had truly changed the course of my life.
Looking back at the journey to my cochlear implants
In 2014, I was scared and stuck. My sensorineural hearing loss had gotten to a point of extreme frustration; I cried a lot and faked a lot. It wasn’t until that day, October 10th, when things began to change. While the year-long process of multiple audiograms, balance testing, obtaining insurance approval and actually scheduling the surgery was hard and incredibly scary, it was all for the greater good. I remember the second that I woke up after surgery, that fear was almost instantaneously released from my shoulders. I knew that things could only get better. And with time, they would.
After I received my first cochlear implant, I became passionate about owning my truth and educating others about my personal experience with this amazing technology. I became a Cochlear volunteer, was active on social media groups for people with or looking to get cochlear implants and I even helped start a new page for people like myself who had received the newly FDA-approved Cochlear™ Hybrid™ Hearing Solution1. With this newfound confidence and passion, I decided to run for a board position with an employee affinity group for individuals with disabilities in my workplace, which I won. This eventually led me to a new job as a communications manager for a newly formed office within my organization, which is where I met my now husband.
Deciding to go bilateral
In 2018, my husband was by my side when I decided to go bilateral and receive my second cochlear implant. He drove me home from the hospital and took care of me in my recovery. On my activation day, I also upgraded my original sound processor, so I now had two Nucleus® 7 Sound Processors which meant I was now able to stream from my iPhone®23 directly to my sound processors. I called him following my activation and cried with joy as I heard him so clearly on the other end. He was always so understanding and patient when it came to my hearing which only made me love him more. He has since joined me in volunteering at Cochlear events, sharing his perspective from a spouse’s standpoint of living with someone with a cochlear implant.
My husband will argue that he knew we were meant to be together the second he saw me, but I’m honest in the fact that it took me time to see what I had in front of me and accept that I was worthy of it. Having hearing loss can be incredibly isolating, but surrounding yourself with patient, loving people can make such a difference. Having that support can also help in overcoming the fears that are still somewhat ingrained, creating a constant hurdle to overcome. But now, knowing that I can hear with my cochlear implants, I’m able to fight for those moments of clarity — anticipating my surroundings and being prepared for certain environments.
Coming full circle with my cochlear implant anniversary
Fast forward to that day in 2019, where I made the amazing discovery that our wedding was planned for the same day as my cochlear implant anniversary. I was already marrying the most amazing man, my absolute best friend and now it was happening on one of the most special days of my life. I didn’t even know my husband back in 2014, but as I thought about it, I realized that had I not chosen to have the surgery, I would never have met him.
Choosing to receive a cochlear implant influenced every decision thereafter and gave me strength through the gift of sound. I kept the coincidence of the date to myself until that beautiful fall day when I shared in my vows that this date was special, not only because we were pledging to spend the rest of our lives together, but because six years prior I made one of the hardest decisions of my life which ultimately led me to the easiest decision of my life — him.”
If Mandy’s story about her cochlear implant anniversary inspired you to see how cochlear implants can open up more opportunities in your life, click here to learn more.
- The Acoustic Component should only be used when behavioral audiometric thresholds can be obtained and the recipient can provide feedback regarding sound quality. The Hybrid L24 Implant is approved in the US only for adults 18 and older for unilateral use only.
- iPhone is a trademark Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
- For compatibility information visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility