Mississippi woman regains hearing thanks to local hospital’s new implants

BYHALIA, Miss. — Everyday we use our five senses, from the music we listen to, to the food we eat, even the movies we watch. Our senses play a big role in our everyday lives, but what happens when one is stripped away. One local hospital is working to restore people’s hearing.

After nearly two years of being deaf in one ear, Carolyn Minga has a new found appreciation for her hearing.

"Until you can't hear you take it for granted, but once you can hear again. It makes things, the world so much better,” said Carolyn Minga, Cochlear Patient.

Minga lost her hearing in one ear after a medical emergency. She underwent surgery and was placed on antibiotics.

"I was in intensive care then and did not know until later one of the side effects of the antibiotic was hearing loss,” said Minga.

In September, Methodist University Hospital began offering cochlear implants, an electronic device that restores hearing.

“Your implant bypasses the mechanisms of the inner ear and directly stimulates your hearing nerve with electrical signals,” said Dr. Robert Yawn, Neurologist with UT Methodist Physicians.

In the past people would travel at least two hours for the surgery, but now people in Shelby County and surrounding areas can come here.

“There’s also some upkeep and travel involved just after you get the implant. Prevents a lot of back and forth in travel,” said Yawn.

Yawn said since September the hospital has installed cochlear implants on ten people.

“We as ear surgeons have the opportunity to restore one of the essential parts of being human back to people,” said Yawn.

“To be able to get back my hearing that is just wonderful. I can hear my granddaughter when she talks to me,” said Minga.

It is a common misconception that only children are eligible for hearing implants, but the hospital is accepting patients of all ages to be considered.

Patients in their 90′s have had successful cochlear implants.

This service is covered by Medicare and Methodist University Hospital also accepts many different insurances, and also tries their best to work with out-of-network carriers.