Father-daughter duo discover joy of sound

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Emjai Welsh’s first response to seeing her dad’s new cochlear implant was: “it’s like mine”.

Emjai received her second cochlear implant last year and after seeing how successful the procedure went, Ryan Welsh decided perhaps he should do the same.

“I couldn’t come up with any reasons why I shouldn’t get it done,” he said.

Mr Welsh was first seen for an assessment at the beginning of the year and didn’t expect to receive the procedure so soon after.

“I was shocked,” he said.

“I wasn’t expecting it until next year.”

Mr Welsh was born partially deaf and still has a hearing aid for his right ear. It is unlikey he will require an implant.

Mr Welsh’s initial procedure took place in June and his processor was switched on last week.

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device that provides a sense of sound to a person with severe hearing difficulty.

At first, higher pitched noises were registering as beeping sounds, but Mr Welsh said it didn’t take long before noises and words became clear.

“I knew there was a sound but I hadn’t quite interpreted what it is,’ he said.

“I could hear it hitting my ear drum.”

The Government funds eligible patients their first cochlear implant.

The local community rallied together and raised close to $50,000 for Emjai, after she required a second cochlear implant.

“It gives me an understanding to what she went through,” he said.

“I see what she put up with.”

He said Emjai loves her dad’s new gadget.

“[The implant] It will make my life a breeze,” he said.

By Jessie Waite