Woody S. struggled with hearing loss and his hearing aids. After a frustrating vacation where he felt he could not hear his best, he decided to pursue a cochlear implant and the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor. Fast forward to now, he is getting to enjoy Broadway shows again, talks on the phone with clients and has found ease in conversation again. See why he likes to help others on their journey towards a cochlear implant:


“I was born with excellent hearing. Unfortunately, about 35 years ago when I was in my 40s, I had a traumatic experience, nothing physical, and slowly started to have hearing issues. When my daughters began complaining that I left the directional signals on in the car, I accepted the realization that I was not hearing as I should be.

I started to wear two hearing aids at that time. My hearing continued to deteriorate and last summer I went on what should have been a wonderful vacation, and I realized when I got home that I missed much of the social and informative conversation that would have made it even more enjoyable.

Frustrating vacation where I struggled to hear

Woody S. who has the Nucleus 7 Sound ProcessorI was on a trip with guides describing what was happening as we walked along and I was not able to use the device they gave to the others in the group because I could not attach them to my hearing aids. Instead, I ran along with him trying to get close enough to hear. When we had meals, I was very quiet and did not talk much even though I would have liked to participate, but was fearful of repeating what had been said by others because I had not heard.

Mostly because of the unhappiness on the trip, I decided to revisit my options with an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT) who assured me that my hearing aids were the ‘top of the line’ and working to their capacity and nothing more could be done to help with my issues, except to consider getting a cochlear implant.

Deciding to get a cochlear implant

I attended a Cochlear support meeting and last year, at 78, I decided to get a cochlear implant. I was impressed that so many of the attendees had cochlear implants in both ears and felt more comfortable about getting it done. I figured it could not be bad if they volunteered to have it done twice.

I am a retired CPA, but I still have tax clients. I communicate with my clients mostly by telephone, and the phone streaming options available with the cochlear implant and sound processor was very important to me. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor with its direct streaming capability won me over.

I got the cochlear implant in my left ear and continue to wear a hearing aid in the right. On the ride home after being activated, I asked my daughter what the noise on the roof of the car was. She said it was raindrops, which I had not heard in many years.

Movie theatres and Broadway shows with the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor

Woody S. with the Nucleus 7 Sound ProcessorI went to a movie theater to see how much I could hear and was thrilled that I did not miss a single word of dialogue. I have used the ForwardFocus1 feature in restaurants with friends and have been able to participate in discussions. I am a member of a book club where we discuss books we have read, and I am again able to effectively participate. I enjoy using the True Wireless TV Streamer to better hear and understand the TV programs.

My wife and I attended many Broadway shows. As my hearing deteriorated, I was unable to understand most of the lines spoken, even with the listening devices at the shows I used to laugh at the laugh lines after the audience did, even though I really was not sure what was said. I recently attended a show that was not looped, but with the cochlear implant and my new hearing aid, I heard pretty much everything, including the jokes as they were told. I had not enjoyed a show that much in many years!

Helping others on their hearing journey

Since getting the cochlear implant, I have become much happier with life in general. Talking on the phone2 has been enjoyable again, and I have been more vocal in social situations.

I am so happy with the result of the cochlear implant that I have been speaking with and advising prospective candidates for the cochlear implant and will continue to do so. It gives me great pleasure to help others attain what I now have.”

Are you feeling like you are missing out on conversations and the world around you? See how a cochlear implant could help you regain the life you love today.

  1. ForwardFocus can only be enabled by a hearing implant specialist. It should only be activated for users 12 years and older who are able to reliably provide feedback on sound quality and understand how to use the feature when moving to different or changing environments. It may be possible to have decreased speech understanding when using ForwardFocus in a quiet environment.
  2. For information on sound processor and app compatibility, visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility.
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.