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Are cochlear implants the right choice?

Published Date: 06 Aug 2020

Black and white photo of a little boy laughing

If you’re looking for me to give you a straight forward yes or no answer, I'm afraid you’re looking in the wrong place. Every child is different and has different needs and circumstances. However if you’re asking if cochlear implants were the right choice for Mackenzie, then 100% yes!

Kenzie had his implant surgery three months ago now and has been switched on for two months. Although we faced some really difficult and scary times during his surgery and during his recovery it was still worth every second.

Photo behind the ear showing a scar

I spent a year prior to his surgery questioning whether it was the right choice and whether I was doing the right thing putting my ever-so-little baby boy through six hours of invasive surgery. Constantly asking myself if it was really needed? Is he not perfect just the way he is?

For the weeks following his surgery, I doubted my choice and blamed myself for him being in so much pain. I had to watch my incredible little boy learn to sit up, crawl and walk all over again. I had to watch his precious little scars heal as the days went by and I told myself I had made a mistake, how could I have done this to my little boy?

But as the weeks went by and I watched him get stronger and stronger everyday, and I watched his little character start to return, my doubt started to fade away. I now know that cochlear implants were the best choice for Kenzie.

Little boy lying on his mum after cochlear implant surgery

It’s now two months on and he has developed and progressed so much. He’s using a lot more speech and is starting to really pronounce his words fully. He is putting words together too such as ‘love you’ which is so incredible to hear.

I can now ask him a question and he fully understands what I’m asking. For example, I’ll say: ‘Shall we go for a walk, can Kenzie get his shoes?’ and he’ll walk straight to the shoe rack, select the shoes he wants to wear and bring them straight to me.

Kenzie also now dances and sings to music at low volumes and it's so incredibly special to hear his little voice. He particularly loves the Baby Shark song and can act out all the actions.

Like every toddler he’s also going through the terrible twos and has his tempers and naughty moments. I have introduced him to the naughty step and I only have to ask him to go once and off he goes. He sits there until I go and ask him if he's OK and if he's sorry. He always replies with a ‘yeah’ and a kiss and a cuddle.

Little boy wearing cochlear implants sitting in a push chair looking at the sea

On our walks now Kenzie is able to hear the birds singing in the trees and the cars driving past. He can hear the dogs bark and the motorbikes rev. How do I know this? Because he tells me! He points to the trees and signs ‘birds’ and makes his own little whistle sounds. He says ‘woof woof’ and signs ‘doggy’ and he also points to his ear if he can hear the motorbikes rev and signs ‘where’ if he doesn't know where the sound is coming from.

Kenzie doesn't need to use sign language as much now but that still doesn't stop us and we continue to use it with everything we do. His signs are coming along so well. He now knows his animals, transport, food and drink, some weather and we have started on colours too. He’s learning more signs now as he has access to more sound and he associates the sound with the sign.

So was all the heartache and pain worth it? A million times yes! It’s only been two months and I’m so incredibly proud of how far he’s come and can't wait to see how he continues to develop in the future.

As always I am so incredibly proud of my amazing, brave, strong little boy.


Becky is mum to Mackenzie (5), who is profoundly deaf. Mackenzie was fitted with cochlear implants in January 2020. Becky also blogs about family life, you can find her at @youdontneedtohear on Facebook.