Let's come together to celebrate the transformative power of this technology and support those impacted by hearing loss.
Did you know a cochlear implant works by converting sound into electrical signals and stimulating the nerve fibers in the cochlea to allow the brain to process sound? It's amazing how this technology has improved the quality of life for so many people.
On this special day, let's spread awareness about the benefits of cochlear implants and their positive impact. Let's support the cochlear implant community and work towards a future where everyone has access to the gift of sound. ❤ #InternationalCochlearImplantDay #GiftofSound.
Members of the cochlear implant community here in Aotearoa NZ celebrate this life changing technology and their hopes for the future.
Lyn Polwart, a cochlear implant advocate and remarkable woman, passed away on September 15th, 2022. She was one of the first recipients of cochlear implants to join the advocacy movement for better funding and early access to cochlear implants in Aotearoa NZ. Her dedication to this cause was unwavering, as she initiated a petition to the government in January 2012, calling for the re-prioritization of health funding to provide access to cochlear implants for deaf New Zealanders.
In March of that same year, Lyn and a group of CI advocates delivered an 8,000 signature petition to MP Mojo Mathers on the steps of Parliament during Hearing Week. This petition led to a Health Select Committee meeting on the issue in October 2012, where Lyn shared her experience of deafness alongside Nikki Moloney and other CI advocates.
Lyn had lived with hearing loss her entire life, but as she got older, it progressively worsened. She bravely shared her experience with the Health Select Committee, stating that "living with deafness, you are in solitary confinement all day and every day. It was torture."
Lyn's personal journey with cochlear implants began after 7 years of struggling with severe hearing loss. She researched and discovered that cochlear implants could break her out of the "prison of [her] disability." However, she was told that there was a four to seven-year wait for the implant, which was too long to wait at 74 years old. So, Lyn funded her own implant.
After experiencing the life-changing benefits of cochlear implants, Lyn passionately advocated for better knowledge and access to this technology. She talked to health professionals about the benefits of cochlear implants, hosted educational stands at audiology and GP conferences, and remained an active advocate until the last year of her life.
Lyn's legacy is one of perseverance, dedication, and a brighter future for the many adults in Aotearoa NZ who need access to cochlear implants
Lyn will be forever missed, but her impact will never be forgotten.