Scott County woman with hearing loss becomes hearing doctor
Cheyenne Boshears was the first patient at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to receive a cochlear implant.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Dr. Cheyenne Boshears is one of the newest audiologists at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH). She relates to her patients in a way a lot of doctors cannot.
“I was born profoundly deaf in both ears. My parents decided to do cochlear implants for me,” Boshears said.
In 1999, Boshears was the first patient to receive a cochlear implant at ETCH. It’s a device that gives people with moderate to profound hearing loss sound perception.
Otolaryngologist Dr. John Little performed the surgery.
“I came back in 1998. It took about 9 to twelve months to set up a team that was going to be necessary to have a viable and good program here at Children’s Hospital,” Dr. Little said. “Cheyenne was the first one that we had scheduled for surgery.”
Because of her cochlear implants, Boshears was able to have a normal life. Throughout her life, she carried the same dream with her. “It’s always been there. I’ve always wanted to be an audiologist,” she said.
She pursued her dream. She went to college and graduate school at East Tennessee State University. In her third year of audiology school, she was looking for an externship or a place to get real world experience as a doctor. Dr. Little reached out to her and offered her an extern position.
The externship turned into employment. Now, Boshears works alongside the same doctor who transformed her life.
“It’s just been a great dynamic between her family and our practice, and between her and me,” Dr. Little said.
Boshears said she wants kids who have hearing loss like her to know they can accomplish anything, as long as they work hard.
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