Sunday, September 26, 2010

What we've been up to

These past few months have been super busy. We have a new addition in the family--my brother and sister-in-law had their first baby~~Mateo Jack. We took a quick trip to Austin, Texas to meet the cutie. It was nice to get away for a few days...and the weather in Austin was so nice compared to the 100 degree heat we've been fighting with all summer.

We had Landon's birthday party today at Chuck E. Cheese. This was the first year he really got into the whole birthday thing. All he has talked about the last 2 months is he wanted a choo-choo birthday cake at Chuck E. Cheese-so that's what he got. He had a blast. I can't believe he's going to be 4 years old tomorrow--it seems like I just had him and we started on his journey to hearing.

Here's a quick video of the last few months.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The man behind the miracle

The international Lister Medal, one of the most prestigious honors a surgeon can receive, was won by Australia's Graeme Clarke this week. We profile the man who made the 'bionic ear' a reality.

For 10 years, Graeme Clark had been working tirelessly to develop an implant that would help the deaf to hear. The theory made sense. The electronics had been developed, and the design was near finalised.

But there was one seemingly insurmountable hurdle: how to actually get the implant into the intricate spiral of the inner ear.

During one Melbourne summer in 1977, he took his young children to the beach to escape the heat. While they were playing in the shallows, Clark noticed a seashell lying on the ground - and that its helical structure was a crude replica of the human cochlea.

Inspiration hit. He pulled up some grass blades and experimented with teasing them into the shell's opening. Owing to their flexible tips and stiff bases, the blades slid smoothly into the tightening spiral. It revealed a simple solution to a complex problem.

Read the rest of the story here