After years of extreme hearing loss since he was just a few months old, Nick Bender was able to hear clearly for the first time this summer.
“I hear that, I hear that!” said Nick.
In June, Bender received a Cochlear Implant; in July the device was turned up high enough for him to finally hear.
“When they turned it on, its like hearing is back. It’s just amazing with just a flip of a switch with a little minor surgery. It’s just amazing,” said Nick’s mother Michelle.
It’s the second day of school for Nick and because of the implant he’s able to attend a traditional school where he’ll still receive the help he needs.
“He’s going to be able to get speech therapy here that he was needing. He was needing it like 2 to 3 times per week by going to school here,” said Nick’s father Ken.
The implant was placed behind Nick’s right ear.
“He’s actually hearing through here, not through his ear anymore. And then the wires connected to a little processor that’s like a little computer processing the information,” said Michelle.
Through the process the Bender family has made the 2-plus hour drive from Tallahassee to the Nemours Children Hospital in Jacksonville. Now that Nick is able to hear, trips to the hospital will be fewer. Nick can now focus on things other 4-year-olds enjoy like going to the movies with their parents.
For Nick and his parents, better hearing will lessen his frequent question: What…and likely replace it with the question… Why’s that?
It’s estimated more than 150-thousand cochlear implants have been performed globally.