Cochlear Implants: Emersyn’s Story – Boys Town National Research Hospital

“How old are you?” “Three.”
“How old?” “Three.”
“You’re three years old? Really?” “Do you like going to school?”
“Yes!” “Forty dollars.”
“Forty dollars? For that dog?” “Yeah.”
“So I owe you forty-three dollars?” “Yeah.”
“Ok, stick it on my card.” “You can’t get me.” Emersyn was born October 19, 2010. She failed
her newborn screen in the hospital. We were just told, pretty much, that everything was
fine, probably just some fluid and after a few months to go and get a checkup.
A few months later, we went to another hearing test here in Lincoln. Actually, I went by
myself. We really had no concern, you know, it wasn’t going to be a big deal.
An audiologist there put her in a sound booth and started to bang a drum in back of her
and she wasn’t responding. Then I knew something was not quite right.
Our pediatrician was great. She was very proactive and said we’re going to go to Boys Town.
They’re the best and we know they’ll take care of you.
That’s when we were told she had profound hearing loss, meaning she was totally deaf.
Of course, we were devastated. We got down the hallway, I remember we sat down a little
bit down the hall and cried and stared at the wall, not knowing what to do.
There was just a lot going through our head. How she’s never going to be able to hear
our voice. She’s never going to hear us say I love you. She’s never going to be
able to hear music. You know, all of those things.
That was the hardest thing I’ve probably went through in my life. It was extremely
difficult to hear. I remember just, you feel helpless, but you want to fix it. So, I’m
listening to the information we’re getting thinking, hold yourself together and you can’t
break down now. You need to hear what you’re being told so that you can know what to do.
That’s been the great thing about Boys Town. They give you everything that’s out there,
as far as, what your choices and options are. They’re not biased one way or another. Even
if we try to push them and she’ll really want to know. What is the best answer? Truthfully,
it’s what’s going to work best for your family and your situation. We really knew nothing about cochlear implants. I remember sitting in my parent’s house
and googling what a cochlear implant was because I had never heard of it. I’d never met anyone
with a cochlear implant. So, it was all so new to us.
Really reading about them and finding out as much as we could, and eventually deciding
this is something that we want to do. It’s the best decision for our family. For her
being able to have, what we hope would be the best interaction with her friends and
her immediate family. “I love my CIs!” Emersyn’s doing fantastic. She amazes us. There isn’t a day that goes by where she’s
not doing something that just astonishes me. She can carry a conversation with you. She
can joke and make you laugh. She’s a regular goofball. “Knock, Knock!” “Who’s there?”
“Emersyn.” “Emersyn who?”
“Nice shoes you got on!” “Emersyn nice shoes you got on, you goofball.”
“Laughter” “I’m done.” There’s nothing holding her back with her
cochlear implants. She does everything that her 7-year-old sister does. She plays with
her. She’s on the jungle gym with her and hanging upside down. She’s singing to Katy
Perry and Taylor Swift just like her older sister. “My favorite movie is Frozen.” “She sings ‘Let It Go,’ a lot.” “Let it go!” Camryn has been just so mature through this whole process. She really sticks up for her little sister. For the first few years she would sit at that table through almost every single speech therapy session we had with Emersyn. All of Emersyn’s teachers talked about how great of a teacher Camryn
was. She’s always thinking about her. To be able to come home and have two girls
that you know, are ready to play, ready to have fun and you walk in and they say “Hi
Daddy, glad you’re home. Give me a hug.” It’ the best part of my day really, is getting to come home and see them and, of course, my wife. “What are these?” “Scissors.”
“Scissors!” She continues to go to speech therapy four
to five times a week. She sees different speech therapists. That’s very important to us.
She’s in such a critical window right now with her speech and language. We know we need
to get her everything she needs right now so she can thrive in school and do great. “Bathtub.” We go to Boys Town once every three months
unless there are problems. We go up there for a mapping and Emersyn knows the drill.
She has it down and we look forward to the trip. We have a good time.
Boys Town has a huge place in our hearts. When we went in for our initial ABR I remember
seeing the LIED Center logo on the side of the building. I just remember thinking how
we hoped to never see that again. Now, obviously, we see that sign often and
we smile ear to ear. Just knowing the awesome people that are inside of that building and
that have given us so much support. “Do you want to see my baby?”
“Yeah, what’s your baby’s name?” I would have never thought we’d be sitting
here, three years ago, just talking about how awesome she’s doing and how much she’s thriving, and having the speech of a normal 3-year-old. We’re just so blessed.

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