I am not normally one to keep up with the times when it comes to gadgets. I made that mistake once, paying thousands and thousands of pounds for a plasma television just before everybody decided LCDs were better and a quarter of the price. Never again I said to myself.
Mind you, when it comes to little Alice, I would happily bankrupt myself if I thought it would help.
By a twist of fate – probably partly our fault for pushing so hard to get Alice’s implant date brought forward – about 2 months after her surgery, Cochlear, the makers of Alice’s implant, released their new implant and processor – the dynamically named ‘Nucleus 5’. After 5 years of the original Nucleus 24, Cochlear had refined a lot of the teething problems with the old unit and, most importantly, made it smaller – about half the size in total.
Alice is ‘entitled’ (I use that word very carefully) to a new processor, funded by the NHS, about every 5 years. 5 years is a long time to wait.
I had the luck to see and handle one of the new processors last week when Alice was at St. George’s for a new map. Within minutes I was on the phone to Alice’s Mummy saying ‘ we need to find £6,000’. Find it we did – in no small part through the generosity of Papa and Grandma. So in about two weeks time, Alice will have a new, shiny, smaller, better gadget. Nothing but the best. Fortunately, the new processor is fully compatible with Alice’s implant, so no need for more surgery – that would be a step too far.
Managing to convince Alice’s Mummy to part with £6,000 we don’t have was a little tricky. That said, as soon as I pointed out that it would mean Alice would have a spare speech processor, should Mummy ever choose to lose it again, she was sold.
All very exciting