Colorado Neurological Institute Helps Single Supermom with Profound Hearing Loss Start New Life Chapter

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Colorado Neurological Institute Helps Single Supermom with Profound Hearing Loss Start New Life Chapter

Colorado Neurological Institute, in conjunction with Dr. Daniel Zeitler, Cochlear Americas, Swedish Medical Center and South Denver Anesthesiologists, is changing the life of a woman who has lived through years of isolation and frustration.

“Imagine walking through the park, being around your children and grandchildren, sitting around a dinner table with friends, being in the middle of a rainstorm, having the wind blowing around you, working at your desk with co-workers close by, police and ambulances driving by with their horns and sirens blaring, bands marching in a parade, watching television, and going to the movies. Now imagine all these everyday events without sound. This is what Kay’s world is…silence,” said Chrystal Christ, a friend of Kay Tritt.

photo 1Kay Tritt, 63, with the support of her friends and family, submitted heart-felt letters with her application for a donated cochlear implant through Colorado Neurological Institute’s Cochlear Implant Assistance Program. At the end of March, 2014, to her delight, Kay’s application was approved. She will travel from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Englewood, Colorado on May 1, 2014 to be the recipient of an implant donated by Cochlear Americas. Dr. Daniel Zeitler, an Otologist and cochlear implant surgeon at Denver Ear Associates, will perform her surgery at zero cost. Swedish Medical Center will donate their facility, and South Denver Anesthesiologists will also provide services for free.

For many years, Kay has struggled with hereditary hearing loss. Every day she struggles to understand co-workers, family and friends, leaving her in a continuous spiral of frustration and loneliness. Despite her obstacles, she puts on a smile and tries her best to continue through life with a positive attitude. A single mom of two daughters, the youngest with Down’s syndrome, and a grandmother to young boys, Kay wants nothing more than to engage in conversation with her loved ones without difficulty. Thanks to Colorado Neurological Institute, Dr. Daniel Zeitler, Swedish Medical Center, Cochlear Americas and South Denver Anesthesiologists, Kay will get her wish.

“I am excited about the cochlear implant. It will change my life in every possible way. I won’t be lost and alone anymore in the world. I think my grandsons will be excited to be able to communicate with me. I am sure they will have lots of stories to tell me,” said Kay.

On an annual basis since 2002, Colorado Neurological Institute’s Cochlear Assistance Program has been serving individuals in need. Continuous support is provided because the cost of a cochlear implant procedure is the greatest deterrent to patients. The combination of the device itself, the fees associated with the surgical, hospital and audiological services, totals more than $65,000. Each year, the CI Assistance Program selects an average of 5 individuals to be implant recipients based on various medical and financial factors. CNI is responsible for coordinating the selection process, notifying the recipient and serving as a liaison between all involved parties.

“It is estimated that 1,000,000 people in the US could benefit from a cochlear implant, but less than 10% of these patients actually have one. With such poor penetration for such a miraculous device, it would be a shame to deny this technology to those who need it based simply on financial constraints. This is why CNI’s Cochlear Implant Assistance Program is so important to the community. Through the generosity of CNI and Cochlear Americas, we can provide the gift of hearing to those who would otherwise continue to live a life of silence,” said Dr. Zeitler.

“The mission of Swedish Medical Center is to provide compassionate, high-quality care that meets the caring and cost effective expectations of our patients, physicians, employees and volunteers, and to preserve and strengthen the Swedish tradition of community service,” said Kathy Ashenfelter, Chief Financial Officer at Swedish Medical Center. “It’s opportunities like this one and the charitable act that allow us to live our mission and values throughout the community. Our employees and physicians are always excited when we can extend this charity to our patients.”

Everyone involved feels fortunate to have the opportunity to present such a deserving woman with the gift of hearing. Learn more about Colorado Neurological Institute’s services for hearing disorders here.

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