Our stories Patient stories Alana - Cochlear Implant 30 years ago it was very difficult for deaf children to communicate verbally. Now with the development of the bionic ear along with educational support, people with even a profound hearing loss can speak clearly and confidently – many even learn multiple languages. Bilateral cochlear implant recipient Alana has a passion for music, dancing and netball. Alana was born profoundly deaf and received her first cochlear implant at 16 months and her second at 22 months. When Alana was 5 years old, her family wrote a poem about the change this made in their lives: We cried the day that we found out,she could not hear a whisper even a shout.Sounds of music and birds that singshe couldn’t hear a single thing.Now a miracle has made her hear,it bought us hope and joy and many more tears.Now our girl can hear these things,can dance and move and even singDoctors and audiologists observed that children who receive implants early in life, like Alana, respond very well to communications training. Babies as young as four months are now receiving cochlear implants, therefore a method is urgently needed to be able to program the implant without asking the person when they hear a sound or how loud it is. Research at the Bionics Institute on enhancing the programming of cochlear implants will make this treatment even more effective. This will lead to a future filled with more opportunities for young people like Alana.