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Lisa Rennhack

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I don’t often post a lot of information about my family on the website for obvious reasons.  I did announce my wedding, and the birth of my first child.  I’ve also shared pictures in the member’s gallery of my family.

I will once again share with you a little about my family.  My daughter Lisa is deaf.  She is about 19 months old. We have known that she was deaf since she was about 5 months old.  We (mostly her mother, as I have been on the road) have fought with the doctors and the insurance companies, and more doctors, and other red tape for over a year in the hopes of getting Lisa a cochlear implant.  It turns out that Lisa has bilateral cochlear aplasia (both cochlea’s missing) and bilateral vestibular displasia (both vestibules present but severely deformed).  Lisa is missing one and perhaps both of her balance nerves.  Lisa’s cochlear matter is completely missing and the vestibules are small and deformed on both sides.  The right side is slightly larger than the left and at this point, The Dr.’s do not feel comfortable attempting to implant the left side.  Perhaps as technology advances and the devices become smaller, it will be a possibility.

The cochlear implant would actually be wired up to her sole auditory nerve, sending pulses directly to her brain.  The cochlear implant is an electronic device that will restore partial hearing for Lisa. It is surgically implanted in her inner ear and activated by a device worn outside her ear. Unlike a hearing aid, it does not make sound louder or clearer. Instead, the device bypasses damaged parts of Lisa’s auditory system and converts speech and environmental sounds into electrical signals and sends these signals to Lisa’s auditory nerve, allowing Lisa to receive sound. The implant consists of a small electronic device, which is surgically implanted under the skin behind the ear and an external speech processor, which is usually worn on a belt or in a pocket. A microphone is worn outside Lisa’s body as a headpiece behind her ear to capture incoming sound. The speech processor translates the sound into distinctive electrical signals. These 'codes' travel up a thin cable to the headpiece and are transmitted across the skin via radio waves to the implanted electrodes in her auditory nerve. The electrodes’ signals stimulate the auditory nerve fibers to send information to the brain where it is interpreted as meaningful sound.

The cochlear implant does not reproduce sound as a hearing person perceives it, but it allows enough hearing that, with proper training, Lisa should greatly benefit by it. The typical person who knows nothing about deafness or the deaf world, often see the cochlear implant as a miracle technology that will give their children their hearing, which it won't.

Lisa’s implant surgery will be performed under general anesthesia and should last from four to six hours. An incision is made behind her ear to open the mastoid bone leading to her middle ear. The procedure may be done as an outpatient, or may require her to stay in the hospital, overnight or for several days.

About one month after surgery, we will have to return to the surgery center where they will place the signal processor, microphone, and implant transmitter outside her ear and adjusts them. They will teach us how to look after the system and teach Lisa how to listen to sound through the implant. We will then need to return to the surgery center for regular checkups and readjustment of the speech processor as needed.

Cochlear implants do not restore normal hearing, and benefits vary from one individual to another. Most users find that cochlear implants help them communicate better through improved lip-reading, and over half are able to discriminate speech without the use of visual cues.  Lisa is expected to get 30% hearing in one ear, as a best case scenario.

More expensive than a hearing aid, the total cost of a cochlear implant including evaluation, surgery, the device, and rehabilitation is around $40,000.

For more information, visit this site:

Here is the news:  After over a year of fighting for her, we finally have a surgery date.  December 12th, 2006.

Those of you that are religious, please say a prayer for Lisa.

Lorie and I will keep her in our prayers and thoughts.

goodluck and Godbless

Nuclear NASCAR:

--- Quote from: Rennhack on Nov 21, 2006, 01:21 ---
Here is the news:  After over a year of fighting for her, we finally have a surgery date.  December 12th, 2006.

Those of you that are religious, please say a prayer for Lisa.

--- End quote ---

You've got it my friend. 

may allof your friends here on the site and those of us that have worked with you in the past extend to you and your family our thoughts and prayers as your daughter progresses with her surgery.


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