It’s hard to imagine a baby not being able to hear his mommy’s soft voice singing to him, or the sound made by a favorite toy. Arjun was born with moderate to severe hearing loss in his left ear and his parents feared that he could not hear them singing or talking to him.
At first Arjun was diagnosed with unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). However, when Arjun was one-year-old, the diagnosis was revised to progressive SNHL because hearing loss was also noted in his right ear and his left ear was continuing to worsen. By the time Arjun was three months old, he required a hearing aid for his left ear. When he was two, his right ear was also fitted with a hearing aid. Arjun underwent intensive therapy and was closely monitored, but the hearing loss continued to progress. His speech and language development began to lag. When Arjun was four, he received a cochlear implant in his left ear.
Progressive Sensorineural Hearing Loss is permanent, and there is no cure, but there is help – like the cochlear implant that Arjun received. A cochlear implant is different from a hearing aid in that it does not make sounds louder. Rather, the device is designed to send impulses directly to the auditory nerve, which then carries sound signals to the brain.
“We struggled early into this journey with feelings of hopelessness, anger, and grief over the loss of “normalcy” for our son. But since he got his cochlear implant, every day brings with it remarkable progress and renewed confidence that Arjun’s future is bright,” says Veena, Arjun’s mom.
From the most common ear, nose and throat disorders to complex problems that require unique expertise, the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) team at Nationwide Children’s is specially trained to treat kids, and only kids. In order to meet the needs of our patients with unique needs, we have established specialized programs that utilize the distinct expertise of a multi-disciplinary team specifically trained in those disorders. Annually, we have more than 20,000 office visits and over 6,000 surgical procedures.
“Nationwide Children’s Hospital has given us an outstanding care team for which we are eternally grateful. To us NCH means family, the kind that will be there to listen to your concerns and counsel you (on cutting edge evidence-based medicine) and will then be your loudest cheerleader with every success. This kind of support can only come from family who want what you want for your child,” says Veena.
Today, Arjun is an energetic and charismatic five-year-old boy. He enjoys playing sports – especially basketball, tennis, and swimming. And he loves having conversations, especially if they are about Lightning McQueen. Another favorite of Arjun’s is Chase from Paw Patrol. In fact, when Arjun grows up, he wants to be a police officer too.
“Arjun’s confidence and happiness have been the driving factor in providing us reassurance that he will flourish in whatever environment he is placed,” says Veena. There is no doubt that Arjun will be sharing his happiness with every participant who passes through his mile at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon.