I had a student a couple years ago who kept coming back to my class to talk about her hearing implant and her very rare illness. She came back one last time this summer before she starts her accelerated nursing program at California State University – Fullerton.
I’ll call her ST for now – until she has the chance to read this and correct anything…and give me permission to use her name. Sorry for the choppiness of this post for now…
ST was diagnosed with Klippel-Feil Syndrome, which she didn’t know until late in her teens. She was diagnosed by X-ray, when the doctor realized two of her vertebra were fused. She then associated it with other issues, like a short pinky on her right hand (I think she said she was missing a joint!), and her loss of hearing on her right side.
Most of her presentation to my students focused on her hearing. She learned to read lips, and a couple of years before she took anatomy, she got a bone-conduction hearing implant.
Fusion of the C6-C7 vertebra (so it looks like).
She said the first time she turned it on was much like this popular video of a child hearing for the first time (this is not the same implant ST has):
She allowed students to listen through her device through an adapter.