With one eye on the pot of boiling water and the other on her son, Andrea set the kitchen timer. Lukas, a half a year old and in diapers, lay in his rocker upon the kitchen counter close by.
When the pig-timer went off, Andrea hurried to silence the annoying ringing that signalled that dinner would soon be ready. It was then that she and her husband noticed that something wasn’t right.
“I was so startled when the timer went off, but Lukas didn’t react at all,” says Andrea.
She and her husband Achim quickly took action. After a visit to their paediatrician and a referral to a specialist, the couple received the news that confirmed their suspicions. Lukas had a profound hearing loss bordering on total deafness.
“I don’t think we could have imagined then what it would mean to discover that Lukas hadn’t heard the timer,” says Achim. “If we had understood the enormity of the situation then, I am not sure we could have been convinced that this was something we could overcome.”
What Lukas can do is somewhat of an oddity. Though diagnosed with profound hearing loss at the age six months, Lukas plays and performs music.
“He does something that not a lot of kids his age can do. Thanks to his CIs, it’s possible,” says Peter, Lukas’ music teacher.
Peter has been teaching Lukas to play the keyboard for more than six years. He says that Lukas is recognised amongst his peers for his ability to master a musical instrument. For Lukas, music is both a form of expression and an escape.
“I think music is really important in my life. It helps me to relax and to chill out,” says Lukas. “I really enjoy listening to and playing music.”
Lukas has been taking private lessons since he was 9 years old. He originally asked his parents if he could learn to play the piano, but soon after it was clear that the keyboard was a much better fit. Lukas liked “the extra buttons, programs and the electronics.” His music teacher saw the lessons with Lukas as an exceptional challenge that he wanted to be a part of. Throughout his teenage years, the keyboard has helped Lukas to express himself.