IM this article to a friend!

July 1, 2004

After operation, deaf girl can hear, speak

From: News 8 Austin, TX - Jul 1, 2004

By: Stephanie Mata | News 9 San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO -- A little girl from Mexico who couldn't speak or hear can now do both after thousands of dollars and many sacrifices. Samantha Romo, 7, is able to talk and hear with the help of an ear implant.

"The first word she said was 'Mama,' but after that she started saying 'Papa' and it was great to hear her talking," father Hugo Romo said.

Samantha's family sold everything they owned and with $25,000 in their pocket went to Mexico so she could get an ear implant, but after the surgery the family was turned away from services in Mexico.

The family then came to San Antonio and got help from Sunshine Cottage, a school for deaf children.

"At Sunshine Cottage it was amazing for us to see other children like Samantha talking and listening. We knew she needed to be here," mother Maria Romo said.

Since she's been at Sunshine Cottage, Samantha is now talking at the level of a 5-year-old.

Her teacher said it's just a matter of time before the 7-year-old catches up.

The ear implant Samantha wears is connected to a device that she hooks to herself and carries like a Walkman, but doctors have come up with a newer model that costs about $3,000.

Her family is currently trying to raise money to buy her the new device.

Copyright © 2004 TWEAN d.b.a. News 8 Austin