THE smiles on everyone’s faces told the story – the switching on of three-year-old Eden Mounsey-Cove’s bilateral cochlear implants was a success - a beating drum grabbing the most attention.
After months of planning, Eden was operated on last week to have the implants put in. On Wednesday at the Shepherd Centre in Wollongong there was a further hour of testing before Eden heard her first sounds - several musical instruments. But it was the beating of a drum that really got young Eden’s attention.
Prior to switch-on listening and spoken language specialist Danielle Slack kept the youngster distracted, while audiologist Shellie Lavery tested the implants and sound levels and made sure Eden was comfortable.
On hand for the milestone were the tot's parents, grandparents and therapists - some of whom have known Eden since she was less than a year old.
Everyone in the room knew all the work had been worth it.
“It was fantastic,” her father Graeme Mounsey said.
“We know we have a way to go yet, but the difference it will make to Eden’s life in the long term will be life changing.
“Everyone wants their child to be able to participate in learning and all life’s experiences, and this is a massive step forward.
“We really have to thank everyone who has been involved – they really deserve a lot of credit and have invested a huge amount of time into Eden and we really appreciate that.”
Ms Lavery said Eden had been a perfect patient and was thrilled with the way she reacted to the switching-on of the implants.
“Some children don’t really react at all, some cry and want a cuddle, but thankfully Eden was one of the third option and reacted very positively – she is such a special little girl and we look forward to helping her through the rest of the transition.”
Fittingly, Eden’s hearing miracle comes in Hearing Awareness Week.
Eden was diagnosed as deaf at just one day old and had been wearing hearing aids from a week old.
Since then she had regular sessions with therapists, including weekly sessions over the last year, with a slight hearing loss in her left ear leading to a decision being made to have the bilateral cochlear implants.