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Hi, my name is Michael. I was born in Pawtucket, RI in 1968. I was born with a broken jaw (dr's error) and by the time I was three years old, my family realized that I was severely deaf. I started out with one hearing aid at age 5, and short while later, wore two. I started Kindergarten at a public school in Cumberland. But I was struggling terribly. My pediatrician didn't want me to go to the RI School for the Deaf because I was already talking and communicating without sign language. A special program was found for me in Providence (Windmill Street School) with a hearing-impaired classroom. I was there for 3 years, then was mainstreamed into regular school for middle school and high school. I graduated from Cumberland High School in 1987.
I worked for a gas station construction company from 1988 - 2001. I did very well because I lip read and I still had 50% hearing at that point. In or around the year 2000, I was fitted for digital hearing aids. I noticed a huge difference at the beginning and continued to function in everyday life.
I met my lovely wife, Laurie in 1999 and we were married in July 2001. After leaving the gas station construction company, I worked for an environmental company for 5 years. During that time, my son Brandon was born. Last year I got a big break and began working for the local gas company (National Grid) as a service technician. My second son, Brendt was born last January.
The last two years of my life, I have noticed that I was losing hearing in my left ear. My audiologist Robert Norton said that I was probably eligible for a cochlear implant. I made an appointment with Dr. Brian Duff and after tests, he told me I was eligible for implants in both ears!
I waited for approximately 4 months, and had my surgery on my left ear on December 29, 2008.