[VIDEO] Living With Magical Miracle Electric Ears

How a Deaf Student Becomes an Audiologist with a Cochlear Implant

Allyson Sisler-Dinwiddie was a preemie born with hearing loss and wore hearing aids since she was eight years old. But it wasn’t until 2004, her first year as a graduate audiology student, that she lost all of her hearing following a horrible car accident.

She wound up in the hospital after suffering a head injury and endured months of rehab to recover from her injuries. She also noticed that her hearing was declining but initially thought she was having issues with her hearing aids. Then one day at home, she woke up to find her dog Maddie jumping around and barking but she couldn’t hear anything. Allyson thought it strange so she picked up the phone listening for the dial tone… nada. From that point on, life became full of nothing but silence.

Her tragedy was far from the end for this budding audiologist. It proved to be just the beginning of all that she’d experience. As a result of research conducted in Dr. Rene Gifford’s Cochlear Implant Lab at Vanderbilt University, Allyson would go on to hear again and continue her career in audiology.

Allyson completed her doctorate and is now an educational audiologist for the Mama Lere Hearing School at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center. She helps children learn how to listen, read, sing and talk thanks to her cochlear implants or “magical miracle electric ears” as she calls them. When she first got her cochlear implant, she said the same thing I did, that people sounded like Donald Duck.

Here’s her story…

About Post Author

Michelle Harris

Michelle (aka "Chelle") is owner/founder of Shel-Shok, LLC (marketing agency) and Green Matter, Limited (environmental education). She started losing her hearing back in the '90s for no known reason. In 2011, she had surgery for a cochlear implant, which has dramatically changed her life. Since then, her aim has been to educate others and eliminate stigmas associated with hearing loss.

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