B.C. mom only hears constant ringing, faces 2-year wait for cochlear implant
Nick Wells, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, September 14, 2016 9:20PM EDT
A nurse and mother of two in Kelowna, B.C., has found herself at the bottom of a two-year waitlist for cochlear implants, all while she struggles to communicate with her family.
Jordona Hubber was diagnosed five years ago with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, which has gradually replaced her hearing with a ringing sound that bugs her day and night.
Her hearing has deteriorated to such a point that she was forced to quit her job as a surgical nurse in June, and is forced to lip read conversations she has with her husband and two children.
"It's super hard to talk with my family," she told CTV Vancouver. "I can't use the telephone anymore. Most of my family lives out of town, so I'm disconnected with them."
Even simple activities, such as playing games with her kids, has become a difficult task for her.
She hopes to receive a cochlear implant, which would improve her hearing and allow her to resume living a much more normal life.
A cochlear implant is an electronic device that replaces the inner ear's function and provides sound signals to the brain, with the help of an external processor.
Hubber has been on the waitlist for three months but faces a roughly two-year wait, which she attributes to a stretched surgical program.
"I think B.C. has the lowest per capita of cochlear implants across the country," she said.
All of the province's cochlear implants are done out of Vancouver's St. Paul's Hospital, and experts say Hubber's tale isn't unfamiliar.
"There are many people on the waitlist that have to wait two years and just to get onto the waitlist they have to have severe to profound hearing loss," says Nichole Sorensen, an audiologist.
The Provincial Health Services Authority says they are working to find additional funding to increase the number of cochlear implant surgeries in the province, and improving the hefty waitlist is a priority.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Kent Molgat