Growing up in the beautiful surrounds of a Sunshine Coast dairy farm, a typical day for 12-year-old, Rescue includes waking early to help feed the animals, going to school, playing sport and spending time with siblings, Rascal, Cheeky and Ruckus.

The sounds of Rescue’s day-to-day life – mates in the schoolyard, the thud of a soccer ball kicked, cows bellowing on the family farm – became much clearer last December, on a special morning at Hear and Say.

Rescue At Soccer Presentation

It was less than two weeks before Christmas that Rescue had his cochlear implant first switched onto sound – a gift that truly keeps on giving.

After an accident in 2014 left Rescue with hearing loss in his left ear, and following several years using a hearing aid with mixed results, Rescue’s family excitedly gathered at Hear and Say to watch the special moment his cochlear implant was turned on. It was the first time Rescue had heard his parents’ voices clearly through his left ear in years.

Rescue said that although it had felt “a bit weird” to have his cochlear implant switched onto sound for the first time, he felt very happy. He had also noticed an improvement in his hearing while out on the farm, in his Year Seven classroom and when playing his beloved soccer.

Hear and Say started working with Rescue soon after his cochlear implant had been switched on, and sessions focussed on supporting Rescue to hear differences between sounds and words, and developing his ability to understand conversations.

Rescue has worked hard at learning to trust what he's  hearing through his processor, and his mum, Sally rejoiced when Rescue seamlessly answered questions and successfully held a conversation listening with his left ear alone.

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“This research project is very exciting because it helps to show that children who receive a cochlear implant for single-sided deafness saw significant improvements in their day-to-day hearing abilities, which are maintained over time."

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