Your Impact - Brad Mehling's Story
Brad Mehling
Brad’s hearing had always been difficult, but he could hear enough to make his way and read lips to fill in any gaps and achieve a very successful career in Education.  However in November, 2010 his world literally went silent, as he lost any residual hearing he had due to a serious infection. His only hope to hear again was to have a Cochlear Implant, revolutionary technology that can restore hearing by placing an electrode along the cochlear nerve.  Brad had out-of-province surgery in March 2011, but unfortunately within the first six months the implant failed.  
 
Brad remembers that day in November 2010 well, "I woke up, and I couldn’t hear a thing. It was scary, disorienting.  I fell down, couldn’t move around properly. It’s hard to describe how it feels to have absolutely no sound,” says Brad. "I was faced with losing my job, my career, because of this.” 
 
Enter Dr. Jordan Hochman and HSC Winnipeg. In 2011, HSC Winnipeg began its own implant program, so patients would no longer have to travel abroad.  Drs. Jordan Hochman and Darren Leitao reviewed the case and before long Brad was scheduled to receive a re-implant procedure in December of 2011, Manitoba’s first such case.  
 
"These procedures are delicate, particularly a re-implantation, but we have both a great facility and a great team here at HSC Winnipeg,” says Dr. Hochman.  
 
The surgery was an immense success. Brad’s hearing test showed normal hearing for the first time in his life.  The experience of recovering from a total lack of sound which had resulted from the infection was a jarring one for Brad, but he recounts it today with a humour that is inspirational. 
 
"When you have your hearing, you don’t realize all of the things you literally don’t hear because you are so used to it in the background,” says Brad. "After the procedure they tried to sort of warn me, telling me ‘Brad, you are going to hear some things’ and I thought to myself, ‘Well, of course!’ but it was really a shock!” 
 
The countless ambient sounds that fill our world and day-to-day life would come as quite a shock to Brad as he adjusted to having a functioning implant.  
 
"Everything was so loud.  I was constantly saying to my wife ‘What is that noise? What is that ticking sound? What is that humming?’  and it would just be the fridge or the air conditioner.   She would just laugh, even if she had to roll her eyes now and then. I tried to tell her just the furnace fan coming on sounded like a tornado inside our house. She thought I was exaggerating, but you try hearing that sound for the first time!” 
 
Today Brad is continuing his career as a teacher and resource teacher at Niverville Collegiate Institute, and he is forever grateful to the doctors and audiologists at HSC Winnipeg.  He knows without such great professionals he would have not been able to continue toward his aspiration of becoming a Principal.  
 
"HSC gave me my life back, and I want to thank the donors of HSC Winnipeg for supporting this amazing facility.  You are bringing hope to life.”