Local Twins Receive Cochlear Implants - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/29/03

Local Twins Receive Cochlear Implants

Hayden and Hunter Corker are 15 month-old twins in Lubbock County. Healthy in every way, except for one problem: they can't hear.

Traditional hearing aids didn't work on the boys. But recently, an electronic device was implanted in the boys' inner ear to restore hearing. Dr. Peter Roland, at UT Southwestern in Dallas, has implanted Cochlear devices in adult twins, but he says this was a first in twin toddlers.

Now, a month after surgery, the boys are back home in Lubbock and the device which includes internal and external parts is turned on so that, for the first time in their young lives, they can hear sounds. And Dr. Roland says their age will work to their benefit. Because the younger the implant goes in, the better the results in speech perception.

"There is a very good chance they will acquire normal speech. They'll be in normal classrooms, and they'll essentially go through life in a hearing world," Dr. Peter Roland, otolaryngologist.

Dr. Roland also says there's a big difference between a hearing aid, which just amplifies sound, and a Cochlear implant, which can create the electrical impulses in the inner ear.

The twins' mother, Karen, tells me that getting the implants was kind of like being re-born into a hearing world, and now that the kids can finally hear, they're having to relearn that everything in their world has a name now.

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