One-year-old Cartia loves to sing nursery rhymes, read books and even try to turn the pages herself! She loves bath time with her siblings and cries when it’s time to get out.
Cartia is a very visual person and is happy to observe and watch the world around her. She shows plenty of different facial expressions and always has a smile on her face.
Just after birth, Cartia was diagnosed with cytomegalovirus (CMV), closely followed by a diagnosis of unilateral sensorineural hearing loss in her left ear.
“Cartia failed her newborn hearing screening twice, and then had an audiology hearing test (Auditory Brainstem Response) to confirm the diagnosis,” said Jade, Cartia’s mum.
“We were devastated at first however also very grateful at the same time that Cartia could still hear our voices with her right ear. So far, she can still hear perfectly out of her right ear, so we are happy,” she said.
“Cartia was then fitted with a pretty pink hearing aid at six months old while she awaited surgery for a cochlear implant.”
Jade and Erik were familiar with Hear and Say through a friend, and thought the organisation would be a good fit for their family.
“We were already familiar with Hear and Say as we had a friend whose son is also deaf, and attends the organisation. We did our research around where the best place for Cartia would be, with therapy and for her cochlear journey, and found that Hear and Say was the best option for our family,” said Jade.
“Cartia does fortnightly speech therapy, all of her audiology appointments at Hear and Say and also many appointments pre and post cochlear implant surgery,” she said.
“It has opened up the door to a whole new world of hearing. From all of the new listening and language skills we have learnt through lessons that we then teach Cartia at home, to the other parents I have connected with who are going through the exact same thing,” she said.
“It’s been a long journey with many appointments and therapy sessions, but Cartia has come a long way, and is reaching her listening and language goals, so we are very happy.”
Cartia underwent surgery for a cochlear implant at 13 months old with her switch-on at Hear and Say’s Ashgrove centre two weeks later.
“Leading up to Cartia’s switch-on day, we didn’t know what to expect,” said Jade.
“We were so nervous yet excited for Cartia’s journey and all the new sounds that she would have access to.”
Jade and Erik have taken Cartia’s diagnosis in their stride, and are confident she will grow up courageous, and be whoever she wishes.
“This is who she is, and nothing will change that so we have learnt to deal with the diagnosis accordingly, and support her as much as we can,” said Jade.
“We are incredibly grateful for the lovely staff at Hear and Say who have made our hearing loss journey a great one rather than a sad one.”