Helping children to reach their full potential.

Hear and Now: Meet Kshish

A love of storytelling and creativity has come alive for 23-year-old, Kshish.

Having graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Kshish took a leap to move from Brisbane to Canberra for a role in digital communications with the Australian Capital Territory government. It’s a job she said allowed her to flex her creative muscles and passion for both reading and telling stories – the foundations of which Kshish credited to the hearing and speaking skills nurtured throughout childhood.

Both Kshish and her younger sister were born deaf, but thanks to modern technology, specialist support and the dedication of their family, they have grown up in a world of listening and speaking.

Kshish and her family were living in New Zealand when she got her first cochlear implant at three years old. Upon the family deciding to relocate to Australia, a recommendation from their local audiologist at the time led them to discover Hear and Say.

“Some of my earliest memories were going to Hear and Say when it was based in Auchenflower [inner-west Brisbane]. It just had that warm and cosy feeling when you entered, and I can remember having my mum or dad sit with me through the speech therapy and audiology appointments – everyone was so friendly!”

Kshish went on to have a second cochlear implant ten years ago, a moment she describes as a “turning point”.

“Before I got my second implant, I would actively avoid social gatherings as I was unable to hear in noisy situations. It was sometimes really awkward when you had to say, ‘Sorry?’ five times asking the person to repeat themselves, and they would give what I came to know as a sigh of frustration,” said Kshish.

“I don’t have that experience anymore. Having both cochlear implants has opened an array of opportunities I never thought possible. I can now go and sit with my friends in the loudest restaurants, all because of my implants blocking out surrounding noise which allowing me to communicate seamlessly.

“Without my family, friends and that early support I received, I wouldn’t be standing in this position today – that’s really what has made this all a dream come true.”

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Maia’s Story

At 9.10pm on 24 October 2013 our beautiful daughter Maia was born. 

The moment of elation was short-lived as we immediately noticed her left ear was missing. I frantically looked to the medical team around me for answers but received none.

Panic set in as we waited 4 days in hospital for an ENT to explain her condition, by which point we already had all the answers from Simone, who runs the Microtia and Atresia Program at Hear and Say.

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