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Meet Ann Adebayo, the Nigerian Android

My name is Ann Adebayo, I was born and raised in Abeokuta, Ogun state, Nigeria. When I was 15 years old, my hearing impairment surfaced, and my parents frantically made the rounds of all the ear, nose and throat specialists in Dubai. They all agreed I was suffering from nerve deafness in both ears, would eventually need hearing aids.

I started wearing hearing aids in May 2013 and that was before I graduated high school in 2014. I never knew I had a hearing disability until my parents noticed, I felt completely like every normal child because I was practically doing fine so I couldn’t bring my self to accept that I have hearing loss due to the fact that I was probably born like that( still don’t know when and how is started). When I got the hearing aids all it did was made sounds louder which was very uncomfortable. So that was enough reason for me not to use it especially in school where everywhere was so loud and noisy. By the time I got to college, using the hearing aids got worse to a point that I couldn’t use it anymore. But due to fear of disappointing my parents I couldn’t tell them what’s wrong and kept pretending it’s use was effective.

Wondering how I coped in school without hearing properly? Lip reading was something I thought everyone could do, it was like I could hear what everyone was saying as long as I am seeing their faces and expressions especially their mouths. “If I can’t see you I can’t hear you” this was literally my motto in college, and it felt normal to me. Though I knew I had hearing impairment but hearing aids can’t definitely be the solution because the one I had wasn’t helping.

During my third year in college, I realized I needed to relate with my course mates in order to perform well, so I built up the courage to let them( course-mates and roommates) know what I am struggling with and will need their assistance. My results got better thereafter.

I Graduated college 2019 and moved to USA immediately. Got my first job interview after a month but it didn’t go well because I kept asking the interviewer to repeat himself. This was because I wasn’t used to reading lips with American accent( they speak so fast). I got heart broken and out of fear I had no hope after failing several more interviews due to my hearing disability.

After three months I tried getting another hearing aids that will probably work since technology keeps developing. Got the worst news after I did hearing tests and was told hearing aids won’t work for me but cochlear implant will.

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I applied for a health insurance designed to assist patients to meet hospital, medical, and other health costs. Got eligible to get the cochlear implant at Johnhopkins hospital, I did several tests and the audiologist came to a conclusion that I have speech impairment and sensorineural hearing loss (hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear or the nerve from the ear to the brain).

After my cochlear implantat operation, I had a post-op appointment to check the incision was healing correctly. All was well and after about 3 weeks it had completely healed and the scar wasn’t very noticeable. The device was activated and I could hear sounds differently.

Ann Adebayo hearing aid

Getting a cochlear implant as a hard of hearing person was the best decision I ever made in my life. Changed my life completely, confidence and sense of well being started soaring.

Article source: This article was written by Ann Adebayo and she can be contacted via the link here for further information.

Image source: Ann Adebayo

Updated : 9:33 a.m. on 10/03/2021

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