Today's Health: The sound of new futures

    7:45 PM, Oct 31, 2011   |    comments
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    UNDATED (KTHV) -- "So now technically your device is on. Can you tell," Sarah Churman's husband asks as she hears her own voice for the first time.

    "I just started crying because I could hear myself," Churman recalls. "And then I start laughing because here I am in this awesome moment and I'm crying. It was just a snowball of emotions."

    She had been deaf since birth, but that all changed in August when she received Envoy Medical's Esteem, a fully implantable hearing device.

    "We drive the sound into the Cochlea, whereas a hearing aid sits in the ear canal, and the sound has to travel through the air, through the ear drum and on into the ear. And there's a lot of opportunity for distortion and loss of quality," says Dr. Micheal Murray, Churman's doctor.

    Chruman and her husband Sloan say the Esteem implant has had a profound effect on their family of four.

    "I walked into the kitchen and she was crying," Mr Churman recaqlls. "And she was like, have these girls always sounded like this? Because she's never heard the little voices the way they are."

    Now the Churmans are on a media circuit to spread the word and to try to get insurance companies to pay for the 60-thousand dollar devices.

    "It's given me life that I haven't had," says Churman.

    Six-hundred FDA-approved Esteem implants have been fitted worldwide, 500 here in the United States. If you wear a hearing aid, the company says you are most likely a good candidate to use one.


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