April’s Story

I was born hearing but suffering spinal meningitis at 18 months, the only marginally explainable reason for my delayed but sudden hearing loss at 13, I lived a full life, 21 years, as a deaf person. A loss that took only one month to reach 85%. Behind-the-ear hearing aids were explored early but did not yield comprehension of the sounds around me. The aids were used for sound awareness but were quickly abandoned from sheer frustration. Lip reading was my sole source of communication with sign language being used as a backup.

Although I knew about implants early on, I opted to wait and see if the problem would self correct. Additionally the thought of cutting my head open or ear off wasn’t very appealing for a young teenaged girl very much concerned about her appearance.

My recent cochlear implant, April 2014, was prompted by a second wave of hearing loss, preventing the use of the behind-the-ear unit and leaving me completely deaf. It was time to accept being deaf or have the surgery. The results are amazing and has been a dream come true! I was hopeful as to the results but equally fighting skepticism about what I would really hear. My initial audiology test prior to the surgery showed very little to no response to sound but 10 days after implant was 6% response. From that time forward, actively using the therapy tools to reintroduce my brain to all the various sounds, I was hearing at 90% after only 9 months.

My audiologist was astonished at the rate of my progress considering the length of time I hadn’t heard for. The Joyful Noise Foundation is making it possible for others to experience what I was able to. It’s truly a rewarding charity and impacts so many lives. My children’s response to me alone and hearing their and my husbands’ voices for the first time have been a priceless experience. I hope each child can know what is like to hear! I support The Joyful Noise!

April Mbakop