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Will's Story: Life as a College Student with Cochlear Implants

  • Cochlear Implants: Will's Story - Boys Town National Research Hospital

    If you guys have scheduling conflicts with classes and depending on what time they get in, let me know. Life is perfect. I live and function every day to the very fullest and every day I come to school and I can talk to my peers, I can hear what's going on around me, I can hear what's going on in my lecture hall classes. It's truly a miracle. Hello, my name is Will Parker and I have bilateral cochlear implants. I lost my hearing when I was about 8 months old due to spinal meningitis. I got my first cochlear implant when I was around a year and a half old and at that time I was the youngest child in Nebraska to be implanted. Growing up with it, I didn't think I was any different and it was a really fun experience getting to work with deaf educators every day. I thought I was so special when I got to go work with them in their office and play with play-doh and sound out my vowels and do extra stuff like that. One of the greatest things that I'm involved in is called UPC Nebraska that's the University Program Council. It's all about communication and I'm able to work with artists and performers and agents and people within my committee every day because of my cochlear implants. Whenever I meet new people they don't know. They're like, oh you have cochlear implants, like what are those things on your head, and I'm like, I'm completely deaf and they're like no you're not, no no no you're not completely deaf, and I'm like no I really am. Look if I took them off I wouldn't hear anything at all. Working with the people at Boys Town has been an absolute blessing. My earliest memories are going into the childhood room and playing with all the building blocks while they tested out my cochlear implants and doing speech pathology there, going to mapping, going through all that kind of stuff. It's really just been a home for me. I started with a big box in my shirt that I wore every day and now I'm down to these tiny things that I just wear over my ears every day that are hardly even noticeable. It's just crazy to think how different my life could be if I didn't have them.

Cochlear Implants;Patient Story Hearing and Balance