Cochlear Implants: Chloe’s Hearing Journey Continues
I wouldn’t have really ever expected to see the results that we’re seeing.
Chloe Jean Brauer was born on August, 24 2011. She was born with bilateral profound hearing loss.
She’s never going to hear my voice. She’s never going to hear her sister sing the lullabies to her.
Chloe was referred to Boys Town National Research Hospital. The family learned about cochlear implants.
We’ve been told it’s a lot of work but our ultimate goal is to get her to spoken language.
Chloe Brauer received bilateral cochlear implants at Boys Town National Research Hospital.
Her left ear was the 50th cochlear implant performed at the hospital.
One year later
“Hi Daddy!” “Hi Chloe!” “Chloe’s chair.” “Chloe’s chair?” “Yeah!”
“Daddy!” “Yeah, Daddy’s watching you listen.”
“My puppy?” “You need your puppy?” “Yeah.” “You better go find it.”
It’s been a year and I wouldn’t have ever guessed that she was putting three and four words together. She verbalizes in words what she wants.
And the words that she uses are tough words and she’ll just rattle them off. It’s amazing to think that not very long ago that wasn’t possible and all the things she would be missing if she didn’t have those.
“Move Daddy!” “Move Daddy?” “Alright.”
Chloe enjoys her cochlear implants. She doesn’t sleep with them so first thing in the morning, when she realizes you have them ready to put on, she gets excited.
The smile on her face is priceless because, to me, we made the right decision. She knows what her cochlear implants provide for her and she wants that as well.
“What does that say?”
“Frog.” “What does a frog say Chloe?” “Ribbit!”
Sydney has always been a great big sister. She’s a little audiologist. She’s constantly working with her. We don’t ask her to do it. She wants Chloe to be able to hear her.
“Uh, my baby is there.” “Your baby is there, yup.” “Sydney’s baby.”
Every day is a learning moment. Her responding to her name when you walked in the room and said hi Chloe and she would turn and look for you. That was neat. She’s got it. She’s not just responding to a door slamming or something dropping on the floor. She heard my voice and she’s looking for me.
“Mommy, help!” “Mommy help?” “Yeah.” “Eyes?”
I am blessed that she verbalizes her wants and demands as often as she does, but sometimes it’s a little frustrating. Just like normal, she’s almost two, getting in to those “terrible twos,” and “independent twos,” but for her to tell me, “Move Mommy,” when I need to step aside because she’s trying to move her baby, a year ago I didn’t know what her language would be like.
It’s rewarding as parents to know that hard work does pay off and you can look back and say we didn’t leave anything on the table. We did it all and it’s worked, it’s paid off and she’s going to be so much better off for that.
The next step, for us, is to get her in to mainstream and get her started right with the rest of the kids her own age. Hopefully pre-school but kindergarten for sure and keep her on track.
“Bird.” “Bird.” “Ball.” “Ball.”
I call Boys Town our family and that’s very much what they are. You feel that when you’re there. They like to hear about what Chloe’s doing just as much as you like to talk about what your child’s doing. I know that if anything would ever happen and we would need them, they’d be right there.
Everybody’s pulling in the same direction. This is the mission and we’re going to do it.
“Did you hear that one?”
Boys Town has a place in my heart and always will. I will forever be thankful for them.
The Cochlear Implant Center at Boys Town National Research Hospital has served children and adults with severe or profound hearing loss for more than a decade with comprehensive clinical services. Join us as we celebrate our 500th cochlear implant and watch how it has changed Chloe's life in the past year.