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George’s cochlear implant journey: Part 3

Published Date: 22 Jun 2023

6 February 2023 – a day we had patiently waited for and the start of George’s journey into our hearing world. Switch-on day was upon us!

We were excited, nervous, anxious, every emotion you could think of, but we also had the mindset not to expect too much from this appointment. It’s not as magical as just flicking a switch on and boom, George can hear. We knew there was a long road ahead of us with speech therapy and teaching him how to listen.

At the appointment, the audiologist showed us his cochlear implants. George was one of the first in our area to receive the Cochlear Nucleus 8 (N8) processor. We chose the brown colour as at our hospital you can upgrade every five years – so these processors would see him start nursery and school. We thought at that age he might start being conscious of his cochlear implants, so brown may blend with his hair better. He also has the option of jazzing them up with some cool stickers if he wants to proudly show off his super ears! We’ll support whatever he decides.

The audiologist did one ear at a time. To start with, she connected his implant to the computer and switched on the electrodes implanted in his cochlear. She warned us that George may feel a sensation with it, and he did get upset with the first ear. When his second ear was done, he cried for the first couple of electrodes, but then I think he got used to it and settled.

The audiologist then connected his cochlear implants to his head and played a sound – he instantly looked at her when the sound was played. She said this was definitely a reaction to the sound played. We were in total awe at our little 10-month-old baby being able to hear for the first time.

After a few more checks on the computer and a quick lesson on how to use to Cochlear Nucleus app on my phone to work through the programs we had been given, we were on our way home.

The first week of George having cochlear implants was hard work. I think the implants were off his head more than they were on. We were constantly having to put the coils back on his head when he rolled about the floor or rubbed his head in the pram. We had been using the Snugfits and wig tape to try and keep the processors in place, but we felt that this wasn’t working for us and decided to try a headband. George hated the headbands, but they did improve his time in speech. We eventually decided to try the longer coils and use the Cochlear Koala Clip to secure it to his clothing, which have worked wonders. It’s a lot of trial and error.

We didn’t expect to see George respond to any sounds for at least six weeks, but within days when out walking in the pram, George was turning to look for cars that were approaching that were out of his sight. We couldn’t believe it! Little events like that reassured us that we have done the right thing for our George.


Louise and Daniel are proud parents to George (1) who was born severely to profoundly deaf. George has a half brother, Theo (4).

Louise runs on online shop called Hear For George which sells greeting cards and prints aimed at those with hearing loss. You can follow them on Instagram @HearForGeorge.