My name is Walter, I come from Mistelbach and I have an implant on one side. As my hearing gradually worsened, conventional hearing aids were first recommended to me. These did not bring about a satisfactory improvement though. By chance, I then met Prof. Baumgartner and found out about the possibility of having an implant. With the prospect of having speech intelligibility of 60%, I decided to have the operation. Thanks to the cochlear implant, I now have speech intelligibility of nearly 90%.
Due to my CIs, I now feel that I am a full part of society again. I can stand on my own two feet - making telephone calls, dealing with officials, procurement – I have got my independence and can again take more responsibility.
Music is a really important aspect of my life. I am active in several music groups and play guitar, violin and saxophone and I sing. I think it is really important to be active in different ways and participate fully in life. Hobbies, friends, acquaintances and relatives are an enormous support.
What I would definitely want to pass on to others is the courage to talk to other affected persons, listen to their experiences, and not be afraid to accept help.