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University of Iowa News Release

July 25, 2006

Kernels To Honor UI Patient At July 27 Game

The Cedar Rapids Kernels will honor a UI neurosciences patient who recovered the ability to hear following high-tech treatments at Children's Hospital of Iowa at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City during the team's next Homerun for Life event July 27 at Veterans' Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids.

Eric Lehmkuhl, 12, was born with a hearing deficit and eventually lost all ability to hear when he was 7 years old. In February 2002, Eric received a cochlear implant from a team of specialists in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at UI Hospitals and Clinics. A cochlear implant is an implanted electronic hearing device, designed to produce useful hearing sensations to a person with severe to profound nerve deafness by electrically stimulating nerves inside the inner ear.

Following the surgery, a dedicated team of audiologists, nurses and other specialists taught Eric how to use the implant and enable his brain to recognize the signals transmitted from the device as sound. To date, the UI has one of the largest and most comprehensive cochlear implant databases in the world, following patients for as long as 20 years.

Eric, an honor student, will enter seventh grade next fall at Roosevelt Middle School in Cedar Rapids. He plays on a traveling baseball team. He also competes in basketball, wrestling and golf. In addition, he plays the trumpet. Eric and his parents credit his cochlear implant with helping him to lead an active, successful and happy life.

Eric and his family describe him as a "huge" baseball fan who very much hopes to play catch with some of the Kernels. Eric's physician, Marlan Hansen, M.D., and other members of the UI neurosciences team will accompany Eric as Kernels' staffers introduce him to the fans at the ballpark and as he circles the bases to celebrate his remarkable success story.

For more information about UI neurosciences, please visit online at

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,