The opening act
Aly Klepper is a sixth form student nearing graduation. She’ll be studying Radio, Television and Film at California State University in Fullerton, USA in the autumn.
“I have always had a huge passion for film and TV production. Every aspect of this field interests me, the way a crew and actors come together and create something that awakens your emotions. I used to do a lot of extra work in films and TV shows. I greatly enjoy being behind the scenes, but also in front of the camera! I’m happy just about anywhere on set I!”
Hearing is not only important for Aly’s daily life and communicating with friends and family, but also for her future career. Born with atresia and an ear canal blocked by bone, which prevented her from being able to hear out of her left ear, Aly never let her condition get in the way of going after her dreams, but she was always hoping for a better solution.
Seeing BAHS results live on television
One day while watching her favourite television programme, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Aly saw the story of someone who had recently got a cochlear implant. Even though she had seen YouTube videos before, nothing had ever touched her quite like this story. “I had never really wanted the surgery to improve my hearing. Then, I saw it on Ellen and researched, and researched, because I wasn’t hearing well using hearing aids, and it was time for a change. I wanted to experience what I was seeing – whether it was with a cochlear implant, BAHS or something different.”
Choosing Ponto Plus
After months of research, Aly went to her audiologist with the Ponto in mind. After trying the Ponto demo for herself, she was even more confident in her decision to move forward with the Ponto Plus.
“When I went in, I was already convinced I wanted the Ponto from my online research, but they did share other options – including getting the magnet implant. I didn’t think it’d be the best choice,” Aly explained. “Two different doctors gave me their opinions and explained that with the magnet option, the sound would not be as strong and therefore the sound quality wouldn’t be the best. If I was going to get the surgery, I wanted the best sound quality.”
“I had my surgery on 28 June 2013, and my Ponto Plus was activated on 28 September 2013.”
“It was the best decision I have ever made.”
During her Ponto fitting, Aly was filled with emotions. “It was a mixture of emotions. First, I was like, ‘Wow, I’ve missed out on so much.’ It’s so crazy how hearing a person’s voice with one ear is so different from hearing with two ears – my mum, sisters, dad... even my own voice sounded so different! I was focusing on that moment, but also on what I was going to be able to hear in the future.”
Taking centre stage and sharing her own story
The video of Aly’s Ponto fitting has received almost 200,000 views and was trending on the first page of ellentube, a video site dedicated to fans of The Ellen Show. Aly and her mother got tickets to see the show live, and she was interviewed by the associate producer for being a fan of One Direction, who were guests on the show—and who just so happen to be one of Aly’s favourite groups.
“I told her about my video on ellentube and she totally recognised me! I told her my story and she then personally told Ellen and her producer about me. During an advert break, Ellen and my favourite member of One Direction came up to me and danced with me!”
Aly’s advice for others
Aly has received benefits from the Ponto besides the improvement in her hearing, as peers and other students ask her about her Ponto Plus. “Most people ask ‘What is that?’, and it opens up an opportunity for conversation; they think it’s cool, and I love spreading the word.”
Due to her positive experience and improved hearing, Aly is excited to share her experience with others. Her advice?
“I would say definitely do it, because you get so much more out of it than you really expect. You never know what you’ll get out of it. If you go for it, you’re going to get a lot from it. If you don’t go for it, you could miss out on something life-changing.”