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I'm Debbie. I'm 28 years old. I was born profoundly deaf, 2 1/2 months premature, and wear hearing aids. I grew up orally. I started thinking about getting a cochlear implant when I first went to Gallaudet University. I was nervous about having surgery because anything could go wrong. There weren't a lot of cochlear implant recipients at Gallaudet in 2001. Gradually, more students with cochlear implants enrolled at my college by 2006 when I prepared to graduate. They mostly wore Cochlear Americas implants.
There are Cued Speech dinner get-together events that are held twice a month in Virginia and Maryland. When I first attended to one of the events, there were a mix of cochlear implant recipients and hard-of-hearing people. I was thrilled! I was able to have the opportunity to ask questions about their experiences. There were positive comments and the technology for cochlear implants has improved.
Years of hesitation for getting a cochlear implant has come to an end. After hearing positive comments from my friends, I feel like I'm ready to begin my cochlear implant journey. I will be going to the VCU this week for my evaluation to verify if I can be qualified to become a cochlear implant candidate.