Over the past year, you have met seventeen Hearts for Hearing Patient Heroes of all ages: babies, toddlers, teens, young adults, and even senior adults. Each one exemplifies our mission to create life-changing opportunities for children and adults with hearing loss to listen for a lifetime.
Our patients are heroes to us because we see firsthand how hard they work to become good listeners and talkers. We watch as their families and loved ones pour words and sounds into their lives. We happily celebrate with them as they experience communication successes along the way.
Our newest Patient Hero is a rambunctious toddler who loves the books, toys, and activities at each appointment with his audiologist and listening and spoken language specialist.
4-year-old Nelson is the baby of his family. It is fair to say that he is doted on by everyone, especially his big sister Shade. Mom tells us Nelson loves the attention his big sister gives – even if it comes by him annoying her – and he’s definitely very good at it. “Still,” says Mom, “Shade is his best friend.” His parents love hearing the sounds of their children playing or reading together, but at one time, they were not certain it would ever be possible.
Nelson was diagnosed with hearing loss following his newborn hearing screen at the hospital and identified with unilateral hearing loss shortly after. After a change in hearing at age 3, he was fit with hearing aids on both ears. Then at 3 years and 8 months, he received a cochlear implant on his left side.
His parents tell us all of this was unexpected and no one else in the family has hearing loss. They chose technology and listening and spoken language for Nelson because that is how their family communicates, and they believed the benefits would help him immensely as he grows. They say, “The Hearts for Hearing experience has been exceptional from the beginning, and we feel so blessed to have them helping and guiding us along this journey,” then adds, “It has sometimes been difficult; however, they are always there to help with whatever we may need.”
His parents say they don’t view Nelson’s hearing loss as a disability, and the family’s hopes and dreams for Nelson are the same as for his sister Shade, “they live a happy, normal life.”
“Live life to the fullest with your bundle of joy, do not let the hearing loss situation limit the fun and beautiful moments you’ll be able to experience together.”