Megan was born with severe hearing loss from congenital CMV, and progressively lost what was left of her hearing, until she woke up completely deaf one day when she was in her early twenties. She was determined to re-engage with her career, her family, and her community, so she decided to embark on the journey to treat her hearing loss. Today, after investing the time and effort in hearing therapy, she’s thriving with her cochlear implant and provides advice for hearing rehabilitation. Hear directly from Megan below.


“My journey with hearing loss began at birth. My mom contracted CMV, or cytomegalovirus, and I was born with severe hearing loss. I was diagnosed when I was 5 years old, and I had a tympanoplasty surgery on my right ear when I was 7. My parents were told I would need hearing aids by the time I was 21 years old.”

Megan pictured here smiling, gives advice for hearing rehabilitation


The journey to my cochlear implant

Growing up, my dad encouraged me to play sports. I chose softball as my primary activity and played through college until I was 22. Academically, I was a good student. However, my hearing continued to severely decline. When I was 22, I woke up one day completely deaf. I remember watching a movie with my mom, my sister and my grandmother, and I needed to read lips the entire movie. This was the first time they learned how severe my hearing loss had become. They had no idea!

At the time of this sudden hearing loss, I was working as an insurance agent. I had to give up my work because I couldn’t properly communicate with clients via telephone or during in-person meetings. I pivoted professionally and began cleaning houses for the next five years. During this time, my sister had my niece. I was so happy to become an aunt! Due to my hearing loss, I was crushed that I couldn’t babysit, hear her cry, laugh or be alone with her. I was afraid there wouldn’t be anything I could teach her.

One night I was reading the newspaper with my mom and saw an advertisement for a hearing aid consultation and free trial of a new model of hearing aid. My sister attended the appointment with me, and I was shocked at how little I was hearing.

I wore hearing aids for a few years, and when I was 25, I had a tumor removed from my right ear. I quickly became a candidate for a cochlear implant. I was scared because this was unknown territory for me and a big deal. I met my cochlear audiologist, and the journey began. My cochlear implant was activated in 2011. I’m bimodal, so I wear a hearing aid in my left ear and have a cochlear implant in my right ear.

Regaining the magic of sound through hearing rehabilitation

Megan, gives advice for hearing rehabilitation, smiling with her nephew.

After my activation, hearing therapy was hard, exhausting, and exciting! I completed hearing rehabilitation therapy with my audiologist, and I also practiced my listening skills on my own. It was important to my hearing rehabilitation to have in-person conversations, watch TV, listen to music, and take phone calls with people whose voices I was familiar with. I wore my sound processor from the time I woke up in the morning until the end of the day each day, which was exhausting. I made a conscious effort to be intentional with active listening, learning new sounds and getting used to understanding speech again, and it was so worth it! It’s the hardest, best work I’ve ever done.

For new recipients who are starting the journey of hearing rehabilitation, my advice is to take plenty of breaks and give yourself a lot of grace. A strong support system is also vital. If you don’t have a lot of support yet, plug into cochlear groups on Facebook™, and find a meeting to attend in your area. There are more resources available today for candidates and recipients of cochlear implants than ever before.

The moments the hard work pays off

Megan, pictured smiling with her niece, give advice for hearing rehabilitation

The day my cochlear implant was activated, on June 9, 2011, I went straight home to my niece. She was two years old at the time and playing in her bedroom. When I walked through my sister’s front door, I could HEAR her playing. The tears didn’t stop! Slowly I was able to babysit and later have sleepovers with her. Months later, her sweet brother joined us and life with them is my greatest blessing! Nicolette is now 14, and Will is 12. We love football, Mexican food, and pizza dates with my dad at our favorite local pizza restaurant.

Since I’ve become a cochlear implant recipient, I’ve reinstated my insurance license, I actively serve in my church, I’ve gained valuable relationships with other cochlear implant recipients and candidates, and I get to do life actively with my niece and nephew.

I’m 12 years into this cochlear implant journey, and I become more grateful every day for this technology and the gift of hearing. As recipients, we truly have the joy of peace and quiet and a life of active listening!

Want to learn more about the benefits of hearing rehabilitation and how you can continue to hear your best? Visit our Rehabilitation Resources website for insights and opportunities to practice your listening with hearing exercises and activities.

Kathryn Lavoy
Kathryn Lavoy is the Marketing Manager for Hearing Rehabilitation at Cochlear Americas. Kathryn enjoys connecting recipients of hearing loss technology with the resources that help them hear their best. In her free time, Kathryn likes hiking in the Colorado mountains with her family.