Monday, June 27, 2016

100 Days of Gratitude, Day 43 - Dr. John Niparko

John Niparko, 1955- 2016

John Niparko died April 25, aged 61.

A pioneer of cochlear implants, John transformed the world for thousands of people with severe hearing loss. In addition to his surgery and teaching, he co-founded the Listening Center at Johns Hopkins, and then the River School in Washington, DC - both with Nancy Mellon, his frequent collaborator.

I saw his work first hand: he gave my son the ability to hear for the first time at age four, and then to begin speaking soon thereafter.

There are many things to be said not only for John's clinical and academic accomplishments, but also for his humanity.  He would reassure parents when their kids came for testing, and then go into the gym next door to shoot hoops with the kids to relieve their anxiety.

I am profoundly grateful to John Niparko for what he has done - for the world, and for my family.