Gerid Adams lost most of his hearing at the age of two after a case of pneumonia. He was taken to the hospital and given antibiotics to help bring down his high fever. Doctors suspect that either the high fever or the antibiotics damaged his hair cells. Deaf for most of his life, Gerid has used hearing aids to stay in the hearing world.
Hearing aids enabled Gerid to communicate and to excel in life. He is a native of the Kalamazoo/Paw Paw and Grand Rapids areas of Michigan. Independent and a high achiever, Gerid studied at Grand Rapids Community College, has worked successfully as a systems engineer and technician, and is married with two young sons.
Even with the use of hearing aids, as a father, Gerid felt he was missing out on important moments with his kids. So he decided to get a cochlear implant to further enhance his ability to hear. Because Gerid’s hearing loss was initiated by inner ear damage, he was a good candidate for an implant.
With 0% word recognition in one ear, Gerid felt he had nothing to lose. With a hearing aid on one side and an implant on the other, over time Gerid achieved 98% word recognition. So Gerid went ahead and had the other side done. This was life-changing for Gerid and his whole family.
Now Gerid doesn’t miss out on anything. He hopes sharing his story will encourage others to do all they can to help make life better for themselves and the people around them.
As president of the Greater Grand Rapids Chapter of HLAA, Gerid is seeking ways to involve young people and to help them help themselves by working for hearing access. “It can be very powerful to speak up about your own needs,” said Gerid, “and it can make all the difference in how a young person with hearing loss approaches his/her life.”