“The technology is just amazing.”
A number of different factors can cause hearing loss – from a congenital defect to nerve damage, or even an injury.
For Conor Kelly, it was a serious case of meningitis at two-years-old that caused severe inner ear damage, and he became completely deaf. His mother Terri says it was a terrifying time and she was devastated for her son.
“He's a bubbly kid and he loves talking and chatting, but after becoming deaf he would just sit there and play by himself. He would also get really frustrated when you tried to communicate with him.
“You could see the decline, he started slurring his words because he couldn't hear himself talking anymore. He wasn’t born deaf, so going from a kid that had complete hearing to being deaf, it was heart-wrenching. It was such a rollercoaster.”
Then, just over six weeks later, Conor received his cochlear implant.
Terri says it took around a month before Conor started to really understand what was happening and what sounds he was hearing. Now, he is curious about every sound around him and leaps up when he hears his favourite sounds – fire engines and police sirens.
“I think the technology is just amazing,” says Terri.
One of the main challenges as a parent was learning to communicate with Conor again, says Terri, which is when The Hearing House became a big part of the family’s journey.
“I didn't know how to go back to that baby stage and teach him again. The Hearing House really helped me go back in time and do activities with him to make him want to be able to understand.”
Her advice to other parents who might be going through a similar situation is to be patient and trust the process. She says it takes time to get everything working properly, but the results and the changes are incredible.
“I actually wouldn't know what to do without the cochlear implants, seriously. When you've got a child that is laughing and being happy then it's just all worth it in the end.”