Zuri Bell

Age: 5
Sound Processor: Nucleus 6, 2013

At only seven months of age, Zuri Bell was the first paediatric patient in Queensland to receive two cochlear implants at the same time. Five years later, in 2013, Zuri was involved in the Cochlear™Nucleus® 6 System trial, Cochlear’s next generation cochlear implant system.

“For a little girl who was born profoundly deaf, it’s been wonderful to watch Zuri grow up alongside her hearing friends,” says Zuri’s dad Glen Bell. “From her first cochlear implants, to being in the fortunate position to trial the Nucleus 6, Zuri’s only concept of being deaf is when we change the batteries and switch the processor off.”

In January 2014, Zuri began Prep (kindergarten) in a mainstream school – Federal State School in Queensland – something that is only possible because of her cochlear implants.

“It’s amazing seeing Zuri amongst her school friends; her speech, something that can be delayed amongst children with hearing difficulties, is so much more developed and clearer than children her age because of all the help she has received on her hearing journey.”

Whether Zuri is in the classroom or playing ‘I spy’ in the car, she is able to follow conversations without the need to repeat.

“Zuri says there is less clatter with the Nucleus 6, meaning she is able to hear much clearer than when there is lots of background noise such as when she’s at school or a windy day at the beach,” says Glen.

The Nucleus 6 System is powered by a new custom designed microchip, enabling the device to automatically determine the type of sound environment the user is in e.g. speech, noise, speech in noise, quiet, wind or music.

“The automatic sound processing makes it much easier to change different noise environments,” adds Glen. “It’s also a lot lighter, making it more comfortable to wear. Zuri’s very happy with the Nucleus 6 and given the choice would choose it every time!”