Six year old Cameron is RIDBC Cochlear Implant Program's first recipient

01/05/13
Cameron and his mum, Lauren

The exciting, new RIDBC Cochlear Implant Program has recently been launched. This service ensures that children with hearing loss, and their families, can access a  comprehensive, streamlined audiological program through RIDBC from the time of diagnosis, through implant surgery, early intervention and school.

The RIDBC Cochlear Implant Program’s first implant recipient was six year old Cameron, from Cairns.

“12 months ago Cameron received two hearing aids and we began accessing RIDBC Teleschool, which uses videoconferencing technology to reach families living in regional areas of Australia,” said Cameron’s mother, Lauren.

“Having a child with hearing loss can be like walking through a dark room where you know everything is there but you cannot see where it is and you just don’t know where to go. RIDBC has pulled everything together for us, and Cameron’s development has really accelerated with that support.”

When the family received a further diagnosis that Cameron’s hearing would deteriorate over time, they started thinking about new strategies to support their son.

“It’s always been our focus to prepare Cameron for success at school and to find out how to give him as many tools and options as possible to achieve this,” said Lauren. “The idea of a cochlear implant was a natural progression for us.

“The best thing about the new RIDBC Cochlear Implant Program was having Cameron’s care streamlined. With RIDBC we always had someone to call to answer questions, and we didn’t lose time travelling between appointments – particularly important for us living in a remote part of Queensland where seeing a health professional can mean taking the day off work or school to make a trip to Cairns.”

RIDBC is continuing to support Cameron with weekly RIDBC Teleschool videoconferencing sessions, and is also now remotely mapping his cochlear implant via videoconference.

“The surgery went really well, although it was the longest couple of hours of my life! The implant is already giving Cameron access to a much broader range of sounds,” said Lauren. “There are so many possibilities for Cameron’s future now. It’s an exciting time.”