At birth, Ellie appeared healthy with no problems. However, she had failed her newborn hearing screen. Upon further evaluation with something called an ABR it was determined that she has profound sensorineural hearing loss and is deaf. Further testing revealed that she had mutation of a gene called Connexin 26, the most common genetic cause of deafness in children. Within 6 months of life, she was seen and evaluated by the Multidisciplinary Cochlear Implant Team at Children’s Health. Shortly thereafter, she underwent cochlear implant surgery.
One month after surgery, her device was activated and she could hear for the first time in her life! Now at 2 years of age, she is able to speak words and her language development is only a few months behind what is expected for normally hearing children her age. With her cochlear implant, she can expect to hear sounds, understand conversations, and communicate with others as if she never had a hearing problem.