Cochlear Implant Research Participant Testimonials
If you would like to participate in a cochlear implant study at UNC Health, please email CIResearch@unc.edu.
“ As a mature woman, taking part in research studies is one way to contribute to diversity and inclusion in medicine. Knowing that my input and participation in studies may lead to the development of better services for people with disabilities is a way for me to give back. Being a part of UNC audiology and CI research has allowed me to fulfill my goal of educating and advocating for the need of more women and minorities to participate in research studies and trials.” – Michele Randolph
“I’m in the research study cause I’m deaf in the right ear and I got a cochlear implant 2 years after we found out I’m deaf. I wanted to see how it was like to hear in both ears. But now my cochlear implant sounds almost the same as the left. I really like to know that I am helping people cause I got a cochlear [implant]. If I can, then everyone can. Go cochlear champs!” – Pediatric clinical research participant
I decided to participate in [a] research study because I wanted to be able to help others to first make the decision to have the cochlear [implant] and also to let others know that it can make a big, big difference in their lives. I also think that being in this study has helped me personally as well because I believe I am being thoroughly tested and treated at every angle so that others can be helped.
The implant has made such a big difference in my quality of life. Being able to hear so much better has made me and my husband, family, and friends much happier. I am hearing things that I haven’t heard in a long, long time. – Adult clinical research participant
My husband started [losing] his hearing about 30 years ago and started wearing a hearing aid 20+ years ago. When we met, he already had a profound hearing loss and the hearing aid he wore was out of date. We upgraded the hearing aid and that helped for several years. About a year and a half ago, he again was having difficulty hearing. At this point, we were told hearing aids were no longer going to help and we were referred to Dr. Brown for a consult for cochlear implants.
When we were told he would be a good candidate for cochlear implants, we were asked if he wanted to participate in a study that could potentially help other new implant patients. Being in the nursing field myself for 31 years, I was on board with him being a part of this study, and after a brief discussion, he was too on board. We felt not only would this help future implant recipients, but if he was lucky enough, it may help him too.
Fast forward 1+ years post 1st implant (he is a [bilateral] implant patient), Victor has gone from about 20% hearing to 80%+ hearing. He is starting to emerge from the isolating shell he surrounded himself in. He is becoming more social and doing things on his own. For many years, he had to rely on other ears to assist him in most daily tasks. He now gets excited that he can do simple things without my ears, like getting an oil change and being able to have conversations with his mechanic. To normal hearing people, this may seem silly but for him, it has been life changing, as it has opened up his world from the silence he was living in.
We have even started cruising, and he starts up conversations with other passengers. This of course has made my quality of life much better as well; we can enjoy much more together. Simple conversations have become easier, and there is less misunderstanding or “guessing” in our conversations. I was also able to participate in the study [as a normal-hearing control], which was a big “eye opener” for a normal hearing person as it simulated what a cochlear implant patient “hears”. Definitely helped me understand how Victor hears and gave me a little more patience with him.
Thank you UNC Audiology for everything you have done for us.
-Victor Granados and Michele Wenger