She said the hearing loss, which was brought on by fevers suffered as a complication of mononucleosis in her childhood, somehow didn’t affect her ability to play music, but it did greatly hamper her ability to talk to people. She couldn’t book gigs, and she eventually gave up on her music career and got a job as an office manager. “There I stayed 14 years, alone in a windowless office behind a computer,” she said. “Many days I felt very discouraged.”
Explore This IssueOctober 2012
But, three years ago, she decided to get a cochlear implant. “I had never been hospitalized before, and what could have been a frightening ordeal turned out to be one of the most touching experiences of my life,” she said. “My surgeon was like a friend to me.”
Now, in her early 50s, she has the best hearing she’s ever had. And she is a professional musician, playing guitar for hospital patients, seniors and young adults with disabilities. “You have removed the obstacles that prevented me from moving forward with my dream,” she told the audience.