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February 3, 2006

Deaf Long Island Girl Learning to Hear

From: 1010 Wins, NY - Feb 3, 2006

Feb 3, 2006 11:19 pm US/Eastern
(1010 WINS) (NEW YORK) A cochlear implant was activated Friday and now a 4-year-old girl is learning how to hear.

1010 WINS reporter Mona Rivera was at the hospital as Adriana Figlia started to hear her first sounds through her cochlear implant.

Adriana was born seven weeks premature and was immediately diagnosed as being profoundly deaf. Her parents, Dennis and Katie Figlia, learned about the cochlear implant surgery, but were unable to proceed with the surgery because of insurance issues.

Adriana's pediatrician told them to visit the Apelian Cochlear Implant Center at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Following testing and interviews, Dr. Andrea Vambutas and the Figlias discussed the option of cochlear implant surgery.

Hospital officials explain that a cochlear implant is an electronic device that stimulates the hearing nerve in the cochlea, and allows people with severe to profound hearing loss to perceive environmental sounds and speech. Cochlear implants are surgically placed within the inner ear, directly stimulating the ending of the auditory nerve.

The cochlear implant surgery took place on Dec. 15, thanks to a financial gift left to the implant center by Amy Hagedorn. Mrs. Hagedorn's husband, Horace, who passed away in January 2005, suffered severe hearing loss.

Adriana can hear limited tones and environmental sounds at this time and there is hope now that her hearing will improve in the coming months and years.

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