Deaf Baylor student shares how cochlear implant changed her life

Posted at 8:15 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-18 09:55:16-04

WACO, Texas — If you were to see Emily DeMieri on the Baylor University campus, you might not notice it or even believe it, but she was actually born Deaf.

"I have a lot of people who will forget that I have implants or can't hear very well," DeMieri told 25 News.

She received a Cochlear Implant at just six-years-old.

"My parents tried to get me hearing aids and then they realized there were still plenty of sounds I wouldn't be able to hear even with the hearing aids, so they decided to implant me in my left ear," DeMieri said.

A Cochlear Implant is described as a prosthetic inner ear that allows Deaf people — or those Hard-of-Hearing — to hear better.

DeMieri said it's done so much more than just that — it gave her a chance to thrive amongst her hearing peers.

"It's allowed me to succeed to where I have and get to where I am academically," DeMieri said of the experience.

"It's helped me to hear teachers, professors, classmates — and to just survive in a normal academic setting."

"That is the wonderful time in which we live that technology has gotten us to that point where we can provide hope to people with all levels of hearing loss — and that includes children," Dr. Brian Peters with the Dallas Ear Institute said.

"Of course, Emily is a testimony to that."

Dr. Peters said he sees success stories like this all the time in people of all ages. His practice performs an average of 100 implants each year, and about six of every ten are done in children.

He said the younger the better, but an implant is a great option at any stage of your life.

"With cochlear implantation obtained at an early enough age, these children can be mainstreamed and go through a mainstream education, which opens up a much greater aspect of the education system to them moving forward, including going to a school like Baylor," Dr. Peters said.

DeMieri credits her implant with helping her get to where she is now, as a freshman at Baylor. Also now — the Cochlear Institute is also helping to pay it forward.

She was recently chosen as just one of eight scholarship winners from across the country — and the only person from Texas.

"I was very astonished, I did not think I was going to get it," DeMieri said.

All recipients of the scholarship will receive $2,000 each year, for all four years of college.