Hearing management

Updated 14 December 2017

Thank you

"The fact that Widex and Health24 put me on the road to hearing laid the foundation for the final step towards obtaining a cochlear implant," writes Marissa.

It's been a while since the last time I reported to you, and many things have happened in my life since then. The fact that Widex and Health24 put me on the road to hearing and walked every step of the way with me laid the foundation for the final step towards obtaining a cochlear implant.

The implant was switched on in November and it was an overwhelming experience. I burst into tears. When it was switched on, it felt like a powerful wave that coursed through my body, taking my breath away.

I’m starting to get used to the implant. The greatest difference between the cochlear implant and the Widex devices is that I am now able to hear sounds much more clearly.

We were recently at a concert where I was able to hear the difference between the high and low notes quite clearly. It was very interesting to watch the pianist and to hear that the notes he played with his left hand were deep and the ones he played with his right hand were high.

I still have a long way to go in terms of my hearing, but when I look back to approximately three years ago, when we started with the Widex project, I can clearly see the difference in my life.

I will always be grateful to Widex, and especially to Niel Bornman (who formerly worked for Health24). He initially had the idea of helping me to embark upon the road to sound. People like him, with their unselfish love, willingness to help and empathy, are the ones who make life worth living and the world a better place.

Now that I’m finally able to hear on a permanent basis and don’t have any problems with my ears, my speech has started improving and I am having much less trouble communicating with people.

I've just started my own business. I feel that I'm able to conquer the world now that I can hear and communicate more effectively. Being able to hear, has opened wide the doors of the silent, glass house I lived in for 22 years. Every step from here is a step towards a better quality of life.

It's with a feeling of gratitude that I say goodbye to the Widex team and to everyone at Health24. I'm grateful for the wonderful challenge ahead of me: discovering and conquering the world of sound!

May God bless all of you for your help and support over the past three years.

- Marissa Grobler


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Hearing Expert

Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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