Dr. David Kelsall, an otologist from Rocky Mountain Ear Center in Denver, Colorado, began his medical career around the same time that cochlear implants made their way into the world of hearing loss solutions. He has performed over 1,000 cochlear implant surgeries in his 28 years as a surgeon and has seen the profound impact the technology has on an individual’s life, including his own father-in-law.


Cochlear implants have been a big part of Dr. Kelsall’s professional career, as well as his personal life. His father-in-law, Chuck, had been slowly losing his hearing over the years and started checking out of family gatherings and daily life. His loved ones began to notice his sense of humor slowly start to fade, and he could no longer hear his children or grandchildren say “happy birthday” or “Merry Christmas.”

Hearing loss and isolation

Dr. Kelsall talks about one of the hardest things about hearing loss and the isolating effects it has on an individual. He says, “Hearing loss is a difficult thing because it is a silent illness. People don’t know you have hearing loss when they look at you. It is very isolating and can take away your ability to communicate and be part of the world.”

Are you too old for a cochlear implant?

Many accept hearing loss as a way of life without realizing there is a whole world of hearing loss solutions for every age and stage. Patients often ask if their age could affect their ability to get a cochlear implant or if they are too old to benefit from one. Dr. Kelsall’s answer is simple: “You are never too old to hear.”

Chuck’s new world of hearing opportunities

At 82 years old, Chuck and his family decided that a Cochlear™ Nucleus® implant was the best solution for his progressive hearing loss. The impact of cochlear implantation on the Kelsall family was tremendous. Chuck was able to regain his sense of humor, participate in family functions and enjoy phone calls with loved ones again.

After the implant, Chuck’s family noticed his spark start to flicker back into his life. The only wish the Kelsall family had was that Chuck had gotten a cochlear implant sooner. Now, the Kelsall family is able to experience family time the way it was meant to be shared – together.

If you or a loved one are missing out on cherished life moments, take the first step in addressing your hearing loss with a hearing loss solution today.

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.