Nemours Children’s Health came into Brandiel’s life when he was having difficulty hearing. Recommended by his school, the hospital has played a pivotal role in their journey.

Yaleitza, his mother, remembers the initial challenges they faced with Brandiel growing up. “It was hard,” she says, “He couldn’t hear. We would have to repeat ourselves multiple times. It was just so hard for him.”

“I remember when I first found out about his hearing loss diagnosis, it was very difficult for us,” says Yaleitza. Brandiel was diagnosed as deaf in one of his ears. “But Dr. Pritchett made me feel so comfortable with everything.” After some time working with Dr. Pritchett and the team at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida, Brandiel was approved for a cochlear implant. Yaleitza, though a bit nervous at first, was excited for this opportunity.

Brandiel underwent a cochlear implant procedure when he was 9 years old. Yaleitza was grateful for Dr. Pritchett’s detailed explanations of the surgery and recovery: “He reassured me that everything was going to be okay, and it was.”

“The actual procedure didn’t take that long,” says Yaleitza. “Dr. Pritchett explained everything to me, how the procedure was going to be, how the incision was going to be, how long it would take for him to recover. They explained everything to me, and the recovery was exactly as planned.” The Nemours team left a lasting impression on Yaleitza. “They are excellent,” she says.

The audiology team, including Chelsea Clancy and Speech Therapist Megan, also played crucial roles in Brandiel’s recovery. “The audiology team is awesome. Chelsea is always on top of everything. She is very helpful. Any questions I have, she has the answer to, and so does Megan. Megan has worked so well with my son. She has helped him to use full sentences, when before he wasn’t able to,” says Yaleitza. “Having the cochlear implant has made such a difference.” Despite hearing normally in his good ear, Brandiel faced many hearing challenges prior to receiving his implant. He has gained tremendous benefits since providing sound to his deaf ear.

Now at the age of 11, Brandiel’s personality has blossomed. Once a shy child, he has become joyful, spontaneous, and talkative. Looking to the future, he wants to be a mechanic when he grows up. Yaleitza believes he will become a source of support for others with hearing loss as he gets older.

“In my opinion, I think he’s going to be one of those people that is going to help others with their hearing loss,” says Yaleitza. “I asked him, not too long ago, ‘what’s your best feature?’ And he said my cochlear because kids come up to me and I get to explain to them what it is. They get to understand what I’m going through.”

For parents and patients facing a similar journey, Yaleitza offers this advice, “I would say to go for it. It’s scary at the beginning, but once you go through with the procedure and you see the advantages it has, the change that your kids going to have with a cochlear implant, it’s a wonderful outcome.”

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