Single Supermom with Profound Hearing Loss Starts New Life Chapter
On May 1, 2014, Kay Tritt, 63, a single mom of two daughters, the youngest with Down’s syndrome, and a grandmother to young boys, will become the recipient of a donated cochlear implant through Colorado Neurological Institute’s (CNI) Cochlear Implant Assistance Program. Cochlear Americas donated the device.
On May 1, 2014, Kay Tritt, 63, a single mom of two daughters, the youngest with Down’s syndrome, and a grandmother to young boys, will become the recipient of a donated cochlear implant through Colorado Neurological Institute’s (CNI) Cochlear Implant Assistance Program. Cochlear Americas donated the device. Dr. Daniel Zeitler, an Otologist and cochlear implant surgeon at Denver Ear Associates, will perform her surgery at zero cost. Swedish Medical Center will donate their facility, and South Denver Anesthesiologists will also provide services for free.
On an annual basis since 2002, Colorado Neurological Institute’s Cochlear Assistance Program has been serving individuals in need. Continuous support is provided because the cost of a cochlear implant procedure is the greatest deterrent to patients. The combination of the device itself, the fees associated with the surgical, hospital and audiological services, totals more than $65,000. Each year, the CI Assistance Program selects an average of 5 individuals to be implant recipients based on various medical and financial factors. CNI is responsible for coordinating the selection process, notifying the recipient and serving as a liaison between all involved parties.
“I am excited about the cochlear implant. It will change my life in every possible way. I won’t be lost and alone anymore in the world. I think my grandsons will be excited to be able to communicate with me. I am sure they will have lots of stories to tell me,” said Tritt.
“It is estimated that 1,000,000 people in the US could benefit from a cochlear implant, but less than 10% of these patients actually have one. With such poor penetration for such a miraculous device, it would be a shame to deny this technology to those who need it based simply on financial constraints. This is why CNI’s Cochlear Implant Assistance Program is so important to the community. Through the generosity of CNI and Cochlear Americas, we can provide the gift of hearing to those who would otherwise continue to live a life of silence,” said Dr. Zeitler.
“The mission of Swedish Medical Center is to provide compassionate, high-quality care that meets the caring and cost effective expectations of our patients, physicians, employees and volunteers, and to preserve and strengthen the Swedish tradition of community service,” said Kathy Ashenfelter, Chief Financial Officer at Swedish Medical Center. “It’s opportunities like this one and the charitable act that allow us to live our mission and values throughout the community. Our employees and physicians are always excited when we can extend this charity to our patients.”
About Cochlear Implants
A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to restore the sense of sound to a person who has moderate-to-profound hearing loss. The implant is very different from a hearing aid. Instead of simply amplifying sound, the external portion of the device gathers acoustic sound from the environment, turns these signals into electrical impulses, and sends them into the internal portion of the device implanted in the cochlea, thereby bypassing damaged portions of the inner ear and stimulating the auditory nerve directly. In a nutshell, a cochlear implant is a technological miracle that brings the recipient from a world of silence to a world of sound.
About Colorado Neurological Institute
Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI) has been providing research, education and patient services for persons with neurological conditions and their caregivers since 1988. As the only nonprofit organization in the Rocky Mountain Region of its kind, CNI offer patients easy access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art care, support services, clinical trials, outpatient neuro-rehab, counseling and more.