IM this article to a friend!

June 26, 2003

Cochlear Implant Lets Baby Hear For First Time

From: KPOM-TV, AR - Jun 26, 2003

Aryana Evers Reports

Eighteen-month-old Abby Childress has been hearing for 4 months after doctors attached a cochlear implant under her skin, over her skull.

Doctors said Abby passed the hearing screening at birth. The doctors were wrong.

Abby's parents realized she had a hearing problem when Abby turned 6 months old and did not respond to noise. Her parents took her to hearing specialists who said Abby had a minor hearing problem. Abby's parents did not believe the doctors and took Abby to Arkansas Children's Hospital, where doctors diagnosed her completely deaf.

After doctors performed Abby's surgery, sound frightened her. Abby's mother, Mikal Childrass says, "She freaked out. She was sitting in my lap and her daddy was across from her. She jumped to him and climbed up him and pretty much sat on his shoulder and cried for about 2 minutes until she realized it was alright."

Abby's family had a different reaction. Mrs. Childrass says, "We all cried, all of us. All the doctors in the room, me and her dad, and everybody that was in there. Tears were rolling down all of our cheeks."

Before Abby's implant she never made a sound, now she does, but only when the implant is on.

Abby knows her name now and is slowly learning to listen.

Not hearing put Abby off balance, therefore she just started walking.

Abby hears in one ear, but doctors say by the time she reaches kindergarden or first grade she may be able to have implants in both ears.

© Copyright 2003, WorldNow and KPOM. All Rights Reserved