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Rady’s Celebrates Kids with Cochlear Implants

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Aired 6/15/09

Rady Children’s Hospital hosted a get together over the weekend for kids who’ve received cochlear implants there. The Cochlear Implant team at Rady’s is working with about 250 families this year. The team identifies children with hearing problems who might be good candidates for the surgery.

Dr. Daniela Carvalho took time to help out with the face painting at a weekend party for kids who've received cochlear implants at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego.
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Above: Dr. Daniela Carvalho took time to help out with the face painting at a weekend party for kids who've received cochlear implants at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego.

— Rady Children’s Hospital hosted a get together over the weekend for kids who’ve received cochlear implants there.

The Cochlear Implant team at Rady’s is working with about 250 families this year. The team identifies children with hearing problems who might be good candidates for the surgery. The procedure involves implanting a device in the ear to help a person hear. The hospital does about 35 surgeries a year. Dr. Daniela Carvalho is the surgeon for the team. She says the earlier the implant is done the higher the chance of success.

“The ones that we do early, they definitely do a lot better than the ones that are done better. Because you have a time frame in your brain to be able to understand language and to be able to use sound to speak,” she says.

Carvalho says newborn hearing tests have made it a lot easier to diagnosis problems right away. Parent Eddie Espenosa was at the event with his daughter Jackie. He says he and his wife first noticed a problem when Jackie was a baby.

“There was a fire engine that came by the house, and we were right at the corner of the house. Everybody else could hear it. She was like 7 or 8 months and you could just tell, she couldn’t hear it,” he says.

Espanosa says Jackie was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss. She eventually received a cochlear implant in one ear when she was about two. She’s now 7 years old and doing well. Her parents say they’re considering getting her an implant for her other ear to further improve her hearing.

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