Turning Point in Life After Cochlear Implant Surgery

I am Suyash Shelke, 26 years, living in Pune. I am hearing impaired since birth. I had a 90% mixed hearing loss in the left ear and 100% hearing loss in the right ear. So I had a hearing aid in my left ear for 10 years initially in my teenage years and got support for Speech therapy at “Shabdavedh”. I have completed my schooling at Bhave High school, Pune.

It was on one of my routine check-up visits to Dr. Mandke’s hearing services, that Dr.Kalyani Mandke and Dr.Dabke discussed a surgical procedure and concept of the BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) from Cochlear. We were initially very uncertain as the procedure involved surgery and care after surgery which was totally new for us. However with thorough guidance from Dr.Mandke, Senior ENT specialist Dr.Sunil Dutt from Bangalore and Senior ENT specialist Dr. Neelam Vaid, I successfully underwent this surgery at K.E.M. Hospital, Pune in December 2008 and started using the BAHA Processor in February 2009.

The Cochlear BAHA was the turning point in my life as it improved my hearing capabilities to such an extent that my hearing loss has now reduced to 51%, which is an extremely encouraging result. I gained a lot of self-confidence, passed SSC, HSC Science with first class and graduated with a BCA degree from a regular college (VCACS, Pune). My peers no longer see me as differently abled and that has really boosted my self-confidence and motivation. I have also applied for a two/four wheeler driving license with the help of Ali Yavar Jung institute, Mumbai and I can now drive/travel independently.

Though I played Badminton earlier, I started running Marathons in 2016. I have successfully completed half marathons (21 KM) at PRBM in 2016 and Airtel Hyderabad Marathon in 2017 and Full Marathons (42 KM) at Tata Mumbai Marathon in 2018, 2019 and Airtel Hyderabad Marathon in 2018 and so on. I am also taking part in trekking, hiking. Now will be later training for ultra-marathons with runner groups who have over time been a great source of support.

I have done IT training and Microsoft certifications and I am looking for employment. I am confident I will be able to do my job sincerely which is assigned to me and I would be willing to travel independently for work assignments, be it in India or Abroad.

Suyash Shelke