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December 23, 2005

A Christmas Miracle

From: KELOLAND TV, SD - Dec 23, 2005

The sounds of Christmas are all around us this time of year. Sounds many of us may take for granted.

A child's Christmas is full of sights and sounds that Santa is on his way. But for one little boy, the experience of hearing a jingle bell or even a Christmas carol, wasn't a possibility until just days ago.

Four-year-old Austin Top was born three weeks premature and developed jaundice when he was only three days old.

The jaundice became so severe it damaged his auditory nerve...and at three months old, doctors told his parents he was completely deaf in both ears.

His mom Marla said, "We were devastated. It was probably the worst news we ever thought we would have heard that day."

Doctors said Austin's ears were doing their job, but the problem was with the auditory nerve. Messages weren't getting to his brain.

For his first birthday, doctors tried to give Austin sound. He received a Cochlear Implant...a system designed to mimic the functions of a human ear.
But for little Austin, it just wasn't enough..

Mom said, "He started realizing six months to a year ago that he's different, maybe that he only hears out of one side."

So this month, just in time for the holidays Austin got what he calls his second ear.

Now this little boy who could once hear nothing can hear almost everything. He now only has mild hearing loss.

Giving Austin his hearing has given a lot more to his family. They call it their own Christmas miracle.

His mom said, "We couldn't have asked for a better Christmas gift."

Cochlear Implant:

Kelli Grant
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