Patient in Australia
The Oldest cochlea implant patient in Australia
For World War Two veteran John Pring the worst thing about having an operation to restore your hearing is the waiting time.
At 93, Mr Pring is the oldest person to have cochlea implant surgery. He currently uses two hearing aids. But they only provide him with 30 percent hearing. The cochlea implant will give him up to 90 percent hearing.
The operation involves making an incision behind Mr Pring?s ear, drilling into theskull and placing the implant inside, which consists of a microphone, speech processor, transmitter, transmitting coil and a cable.
The cochlea implant costs approximately $20,000, which can be claimed on Medicare or private health insurance. The surgeon and hospital fees cannot be claimed.
The operation takes about three hours. Three to four weeks later, once the incision has healed, the implant can be activated. Once the implant is activated then the first words Mr Pring will hear are: 'Can you hear me?'
For Mr Pring this will be like a revelation. After waiting for more than four decades there is one particular sound that he would like to hear: the voice of his wife. It will be well worth the wait.