At 9 months old, Venice received her first cochlear implant.
12 years on, Venice has just started high school and could not be more thankful for cochlear implant technology. We caught up with Venice and her mother Jennifer to reflect on this time and learn what’s next for Venice as she heads into her teenage years.
When Venice was 2 months old, her parents Jennifer and Jason found out she was profoundly deaf. This is not something anyone could have predicted as there is no history of hearing impairment in the family.
“We were shocked to find out that she was profoundly deaf. The cochlear implant clinic was amazing with guiding us through the process to have the surgery, as it was a huge decision for us as parents. The sessions post operation at the Eye and Ear were invaluable, and to watch Venice slowly progress was remarkable,” Jennifer said.
Venice is strong-willed, creative and is proud of her implants. She loves to share her journey with her classmates and teach them more about cochlear implants.
“The best thing about my cochlear implants, is that I have the best of both worlds. I can hear and with my equipment off, I can have quiet,” explained Venice.
Like many children her age, Venice loves to listen to music, and her current favourite song is Lost by Frank Ocean.
High school and beyond
Venice is now in Year 7 and brimming with the excitement and possibilities of high school.
Venice is looking forward to Year 7 camp and she hopes to make new friends.
I’m now in high school and I’ve already made so many new friends. I’m going on camp tomorrow and can’t wait for all the activities, especially the giant swing,” said Venice.
Venice is also quite the artist, spending most of her time drawing or painting, and is looking forward to getting stuck into art and design classes at school.
Importance of support and learning
As we reflect on Venice’s journey, Jennifer explains the importance of having a support network around you, especially during those early months of fittings and appointments. Those first few years are crucial and Jen believes that the early years of intensive intervention are well worth the effort. Now Venice is more than ready to start high school and hit the ground running.
“Learning to talk takes longer for deaf children. But we are very lucky. The hospital staff were always supportive, amazing and caring,” Jen says.
We asked Venice and her mum to re-watch the video we made over 10 years ago documenting their cochlear implant journey. We captured their reaction below: