I met a man today who was in his seventies and had profound hearing loss his entire life. He went to a deaf school and learned to talk by feeling what the sounds felt like and he was an amazing lip reader. He now has an implant in one ear. He has had it for a few years and he says while he can't hear speech with it he relies on his implant to support his other ear that has a hearing aid. He loves that he can hear the telephone ring. He loves that he can hear environmental sounds. Keep in mind, the ear had not had any access to sound for most of his life.
I chatted with him and shared our family's story. When I told him about Cormac receiving implants at such a young age he said "well, I bet by Kindergarten he was able to be mainstreamed. Kids are so lucky these days." I told him Cormac was mainstreamed by age three. He literally got tears in his eyes and he gave me a high five. He was such sweet man. He had near perfect speech. I would have NEVER known he was deaf if he hadn't told me. (Well, I was installing a Caption Call phone for him so I knew before I got there)
I know Cormac's journey was not easy by any means. I know he worked so hard to get where he is today. But, man, I couldn't imagine achieving the same goal without his implants. This man must have worked sooo hard as a child. He said he went to a deaf school for all his life. He never let his deafness stop him. He had a successful career. He was married for over 50 years. He had two children who he said never knew he was deaf until they were teenagers!
He was so thrilled to have the new phone connected. He struggles with the phone and he is very active and has lots of peope to talk to. He runs several clubs in his community. Meeting someone like this makes me realize EVEN MORE how blessed we are to be able to take advantage of the amazing technology existing today. I always say Cormac was born at such a great time but meeting this kind man really makes me appreciate it that much more.
We talked about choices and options available today. He told me he has lived a wonderful life and is very proud of the life he has lead but would have loved to have an implant as a child to be able to hear like the children today hear.
I wasnso happy to be able to give him some help with the new captioning phone. When i left he hugged me and said to keep on doing what i am doing and congratulations on all of our accimplishments.