Mckenna is our first born. She has surprised us in everything she does. She is a joy and very affectionate.
Mckenna was born with a hearing loss and was not diagnosed until she was 18 months of age. Back then the mandatory hearing tests were not performed until 3 months after she was born.
She was fitted for her hearing aids at the age of 2.
It was a challenge and a struggle to teach her to walk, talk and listen. Finally at the age of 6 she lost almost all her hearing and we were sent to London to get her fitted with a cochlear implant.
Since being implanted she has jumped leaps and bounds with the help of some great teachers and extra services. Today you can understand her like any other child. We are so grateful for all the help we received to get her here.
One story that was the great joy and we will never forget.......
The day we went to London hospital after they officially turned on Mckenna's implant she was still not speaking clear for the normal person to understand. But it was the first time that Mckenna had heard her "NEW" sounds. The implant does not give her normal sound but it gives her a computer generated sound. So every sound and every voice is new and different then she has heard before. So this being said we turned it on and were very quiet as she just listened. Eric nor I were allowed to speak until she heard her own voice. Kim (her Audiologist) was the only one speaking. She ask Mckenna to speak. She said hello but cut it off short. She tried again and was looking at us very funny. Then she got used to her voice after trying out a few sounds and words. Kim then went on and asked if she wanted to hear Mommy's voice....she nodded yes.
I said "Hello Mckenna" she just looked at me with a very confused look and began to cry. To this day i don't know if those were tears of joy or tears of fear. But it was only a few minutes and she was asking everyone to speak. She did well but that just broke my heart. We drove home from London and everything was making new noises. The car as it passed through the wind and blinker for the turn signal, the other cars as they passed by. She was happy. When we got home it was amazing. She heard her foot steps as she walked into the house, the birds in the trees, the car door slam, the front door squeak as it opened... all whole new world. She then proceeded to walk around the house and bang or tap on everything to see what kind of sound this now made... the railing the doors the wall the mirror. She even ran downstairs to her toys and grabbed her favorite one, a dinosaur that made noise and ran so fast up yelling mommy mommy he makes noise. At this point it was very clear how much of the world she was really missing before.
It takes the brain up to 6-8 months to be able to process and distinguish between male and female and then each individual voice as time goes on. So in the beginning all our voices sounded the same. So to learn all this and learn how to speak with using all syllables has been a joy you could never understand. I am so very happy for my litttle/ BIG Mckenna. She has made our lives so full and rewarding. We still have a long way to go with her but i hope one day she has children and see how rewarding they really are!