Ava's cochlear implant surgery

At five days old, Ava Pearson was diagnosed as profoundly deaf. Her parents share the story of Ava’s successful cochlear implant surgery.

Ava patient story

Ava's cochlear implant surgery

The implant team here — the expectations that they had for Ava were all of our dreams come true.

Ava's mum

Ava was diagnosed as profoundly deaf after she failed routine newborn hearing tests. Her parents, Lauren and Chris, heard about The Portland Hospital audiology unit and made an appointment. They were told Ava might be a match for cochlear implant surgery.

Cochlear implants are small hearing devices that are put under the skin behind the ear during surgery. The implant bypasses a faulty hearing organ by electrically stimulating the auditory nerve. The nerve impulse is then transmitted to the brain and hearing is restored. Cochlear implants are not the solution to every hearing problem, but they can drastically improve the quality of life for many people with hearing impairment.

Mr Ben Hartley, Consultant Paediatric ENT Surgeon, says he first saw Ava when she was about six months old. ‘For children who are about 18 months to two years, we have really quite high expectations in terms of how much hearing and speech they’ll acquire,’ he says.

The first operation took place when she was just nine months old and the second at 14 months. Only two years later, with support and guidance from The Portland Hospital and Auditory Verbal UK,

Ava can hear and speak. ‘I think we’ve had the best possible experience you could have with something like this. And, I wish that everyone who is diagnosed as profoundly deaf could have the same experience,’ Lauren says.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.

More information


Cochlear implants

Cochlear implants work by stimulating the nerves in the inner ear to send sound signals to the brain.


Audiology and audio-vestibular medicine

Assessment and rehabilitation for adults and children with hearing loss or balance disorders

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