IM this article to a friend!

March 21, 2004

Implant helped 13-month-old hear

From: Louisville Courier Journal - Louisville,KY,USA - Mar 21, 2003


Myah Meredith heard the noisy world around her for the first time three years ago.

She was 13 months old when a cochlear implant, which had been installed about a month earlier, was activated, allowing her to hear for the first time. The startling experience caused Myah to cry several times during the session at Jewish Hospital.

Since then, however, the daughter of Kim and Doc Meredith of Hodgenville, Ky., has settled in with the implant and hears and speaks well, her mother said. "Her hair covers the outer piece, and the processing unit is in a pocket on the inside of her shirt," so people can't tell she has an implant.

Myah, who was born deaf, was the first in Kentucky to take advantage of a change in federal regulations that allowed the implants in children as young as 12 months old.

Previously children had to be 18 months old to have the procedure. Myah today is a precocious 4-year-old. When her mother asked her to talk to a reporter on the phone last week, she heard clearly and just as clearly responded, "No."

She later agreed to an interview, in which she said, "I'm fine" and discussed her plans for the evening and next morning.


Myah attends a preschool that her mother started at the family's church. Kim Meredith taught second grade for nine years and has been on a leave of absence since Myah was born.

The Merediths make themselves available through the Louisville Deaf Oral School to talk with parents of deaf children about what a cochlear implant might be able to do for their youngsters.

"We just want people to know there's hope."


The Merediths are trying to decide where Myah should go to school.

Myah "is capable of mainstreaming," Kim Meredith said. It's just a matter of finding the school that is the right fit.

By Michael J. Upsall, staff writer

Copyright 2004 The Courier-Journal.