Yesterday the St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa announced the successful treatment on 1-year-old baby Tristan Hayes, who was born with profound hearing loss. The first year of his live was in silence but after a bilateral cochlear implantation he could hear his mother’s voice, Brittany Hayes, for the first time.
Technology can provide a lot of help with the mitigation of some handicaps. Not long ago we have reported about how a bionic eye device helped a blind man do sports and how a deaf mother was helped to hear her child. This time it is the other way around and some treatments on infants are even harder to apply than doing the same to adults.
The Technology That Helps Tristan Hear
The technology that helped Tristan Hayes is called a Cochlear implant. That is an electronic device, which is able to bypasses damaged parts of the inner ear and directly stimulates the auditory nerve. Usually Cochlear implants are only done on one ear instead of both ears, which has limitations to the hearing and the person can primarily listen only to sound sources, coming from the treated side. In this case pediatric otolaryngologist Joshua Mitchell and audiologist Chelsea McNee identified that Tristan would be a great candidate to receive bilateral implants simultaneously, allowing him to hear more naturally.
“The brain is most receptive to auditory stimulation during the early stages of development,” said Dr. Mitchell. “We are beginning to further realize the benefits of implanting both ears at a young age in children with congenital deafness, as studies suggest they do better in noisy situations and localizing sound.”
“There are no words to describe how I felt when he responded to my voice for the first time,” said Tristan’s mother, Brittany Hayes. “Every day he seems to notice a new sound, and it’s such a blessing to watch him take it all in.”
About St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital
As Tampa’s only dedicated children’s hospital, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is committed to providing everything needed for the health and well-being of children. Part of the BayCare Health System, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital provides more acute medical and surgical pediatric care than all other hospitals in Hillsborough County. From the tiniest baby to the high school quarterback, patients are cared for by doctors who specialize in treating children, in surroundings designed exclusively for kids.
YouTube: Bilateral Cochlear Implants – Tristan Hears Parents for the First Time