Perry Hauck of Lacombe, La. started losing his hearing 30 years ago. At first, hearing aids helped, but the condition worsened over the years to total deafness. Three years ago, Perry suffered a stroke and experienced residual balance issues. An MRI revealed a rare genetic condition called NF2 – neurofibromatosis which had caused two benign brain tumors on Perry’s hearing nerves. He saw neurotologist Moises Arriaga and Sarah McGuire, NP at CNC Hearing & Balance Center’s Mandeville office who developed a surgical plan with Neurosurgeon Dr. Frank Culicchia, who removed the most non-threatening tumor and Dr. Arriaga implanted a Cochlear device to restore Perry’s hearing.
A month after surgery at West Jefferson Medical Center, Perry was ecstatic to hear again.
His story was featured in the St. Tammany Farmer newspaper. “There is so much more life in me,” he is quoted in the article. “The implant has helped me see that.”. You can read it here.
Perry: To be able to hear my wife again, to be able to hear my two grandsons speak! My 15-year-old, I hadn’t heard what he sounds like since he was what? 12, 13-years-old! My four-year-old grandson, I’ve never heard him before. To be able to hear that has really … The holidays and the surgery, it all began an uplifting event in my life going into the holidays.
Dr. Arriaga: Perry showed up at my office and he had a rare condition called NF2, Neurofibromatosis 2. Which is a genetic condition that caused tumors on both of his hearing nerves. If that’s not bad enough, these things can actually grow and create all sorts of other issues as well. In surgery, we, number one, removed the tumor, and number two, we would try to save the hearing nerve in such a fashion we could stimulate it with a special device called a cochlear implant.
Perry: Because at that point I had really given up on ever hearing again. But I said, “Well, I can’t not do this. Let’s do it. What is there to lose?”
Dr. Arriaga: The unique aspect of taking care of Perry was the fact that we do this as a team. The neurosurgical part of the team is Dr. Frank Culicchia, who happens to also be the chairman of neurosurgery at LSU Health in New Orleans. We’re able to literally work at the same time, with him focusing on the brain aspects, me focusing on the ear nerve aspects. In that fashion, we were able to get the tumor out, save his facial nerve, and save his hearing nerve, and then at the same time, place the implant into the inner ear and seal everything up to prevent any leakage of fluids.
Jaqueline: After they turned the cochlear implant on, I said, “Can you really hear me?” And he said, “Yes, I can really hear you.” And I started crying.
Perry: It’s working much better than I think I anticipated, so I’m thrilled about that.
If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, call CNC Hearing and Balance for an appointment at 504-934-8320.