IM this article to a friend!

February 25, 2004

Hearing Again

From: WAFF, AL - Feb 25, 2004

As Mitzi Lewis holds her first grandchild, she's surrounded by her family's friendly chatter. Something she will never take for granted.

"I went to bed one night as a hearing person and woke up deaf for no reason," Mitzi says.

Mitzi was tested by specialists in Birmingham, who found no explanation for her hearing loss. She was left without sound and without answers.

"I was isolated, I was scared, I was devastated," she says.

But Mitzi wasn't left without hope. She underwent surgery and had what's called a cochlear implant placed in her skull. Once again, Mitzi was able to hear. I asked her what was the first thing she heard.

"My family telling me they loved me," she says.

Mitzi doesn't hear with her ears. A receiver attaches by magnet to her head and picks up sound. A processor then translates the sound to impulses that stimulate the nerve endings in her brain.

"It's great, it's not perfect and she can't hear like a normal person can, but it's so much better than not being able to hear," Amanda Crumps, Mitzi's daughter says.

"After I got this implant it was like I was so thankful I could hear anything," Mitzi says.

While Mitzi may never know how she lost her hearing, she believes she knows why.

"I lost my hearing in order to listen to people."

You can e-mail Mitzi at

© Copyright 2000 - 2004 WorldNow and WAFF, a Raycom Media station. All Rights Reserved.