After wearing the Divino for four years, health insurance allowed for an upgrade. Jack tried the latest devices available, including different brands, but he showed a clear preference for the Oticon Medical Ponto Pro. His insurance covered bilateral Ponto Pros on a soft band. His reaction to bilateral devices was priceless!
At Oticon Medical’s 2014 Patient Advocacy workshop, Sonja and Jack learned more about Ponto Plus, the latest Ponto model. They also met others who had upgraded to the Ponto Plus. Convinced that the Ponto Plus sound processors were the right solution for Jack, Sonja made the purchase right away. Jack did not qualify for an upgrade through their insurance at the time, so Sonja decided to buy the sound processors herself.
“I was confident in spending the money based on what we had heard from people who had already upgraded and shared their experiences – not just in person at the workshop, but online too.”
One of the major factors was the FM compatibility of the Ponto Plus through the Streamer.
“One of the things that Jack got from the upgrade was the ability to use the FM system. His school district recently upgraded to a new FM system. That was a key reason leading to our decision. People think that a mini microphone is the same, but it is certainly not the right solution for a classroom environment,” Sonja says.
Sonja also saw Jack’s reaction when he tried the processors.
“When we upgraded from the Divino, it was so much better. Then, we tried the Ponto Plus with the FM system, and it was astounding how incredible the sound was. It is amazing. Unlike his old system, it doesn’t sound like a radio – it sounds crisp and clear. There’s more color to the sound.”
Recently, Jack made the decision to have surgery to get implants with abutments to wear his Ponto Plus sound processors.
“He was worried about having surgery. But he got to the point where he was interested in not wearing the soft band anymore. He had the implants placed at the same time as the Medpor surgery. Even with the Medpor surgery, the implants did not bother him at all. It was a painless experience. He had a mild painkiller that evening, and that was it. It was virtually a pain-free procedure for him. It was a breeze. After the surgery, I was worried whether he would be able to snap them on or not. After the first day, he was snapping them on, no problem.”
“When he snapped his sound processors onto his abutments he said, ‘Oh wow, this is loud!’ His face lit up; it was almost like the first day he put them on. And I can tell that he can hear so much better.”
Today, Sonja sees great changes in Jack.
“Jack was having some issues with sitting still and paying attention in class. Since he got his new sound processors, it’s as though he grew up in an instant.”
Jack’s teacher also sees the changes and said that with the FM system, students are significantly less fatigued.
“His attention span has improved. When there was a lot of activity at the end of the day, he would miss things. The FM system would be put away and the teacher would do the little end-of-day reminders. Now, he picks up on all of the little things so much better. It was like he grew up overnight. If you are fighting to hear all day long, it is exhausting. The struggle for him is significantly easier now with the help of the combination of Ponto Plus sound processors and the FM system.”
Today, Jack and Sonja are also known for their unique, customized sports equipment that incorporates Jack’s Pontos, including baseball helmets, ski helmets and karate gear.
“I would not trade Jack’s growth for anything in the world.”