Olivia Williams- Cochlear Awareness Network Volunteer/Ambassador
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Hi I'm Olivia, I'm 18 years old, I'm a fraternal twin and I was born prematurely at 33 weeks in July 1995. I had to stay in the hospital for a month due to development issues. My parents told me that I had failed the hearing tests seven times and I was diagnosed as hard of hearing until I was 4 years old. I wore hearing aids at 3 to almost 5 years old but then in April 2000, when I was 4 and a half, I lost all of my hearing unexpectely while I was riding home from speech therapy. I became profoundly deaf. I actually don't know how I lost my hearing; even my parents don't know but I believe it was due to being premature. In May 2000, my parents made the decision for me to recieve a cochlear implant and shortly after I turned 5 years old, I was implanted on July 28th, 2000. After I healed, I got activated in August 2000 and I could hear sounds again! It was the best moment I experienced in my life! It did take me a couple of years to get used to normal hearing but it was worth it. I went to Clarke School in Massachusetts for 3 years from kindergarten to 2nd grade then I transferred to a small school in Rhode Island but it closed after my first year.
Finally, I transferred to an all girls private quaker school: Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island and I have been there since the 4th grade. Before I entered 7th grade, I made the decision myself to recieve a second cochlear implant and I received the CI on June 13th, 2008 and it was worth recieving another CI and I could hear so much better! I use the Phonak FM system in all of my classes and it really does help me get through everything I need to learn! Now, I'm currently a senior in high school this year and im super excited and nervous to go through the college process but in the end ill be starting a new chapter in my life in college! :D
If you would like to talk to me with any questions or just say a hello, please don't hesitate to give me a message!