A girl receives an invaluable gift for her first birthday, the ability to hear.
“You thought she's never going to hear me, she is never going to hear her older sister,” said mom Natalie Brauer. This was a reality for the Brauers when their second child, Chloe, was born. "The first few months are a blur, kind of an emotional roller coaster."
Chloe's profound hearing loss in both ears brought her to the Cochlear Implant Center at Omaha’s Boys Town National Research Hospital. "It was a long journey for us to figure out that she was a candidate for the cochlear implant as there are many steps we need to go through and she needs to be a certain age."
On Wednesday morning, Chloe's second cochlear implant was turned on, allowing her to hear others and herself. “What she is doing is babbling a lot more than she did initially,” said otolaryngology Dr. Rodney Lusk.
Before the implants were installed, her mother said at one point she stopped babbling altogether. “She doesn't have normal hearing like the normal hearing world, but she gets a lot of feedback for these different tones and she can hear her own voice and so she is really starting to babble,” said Dr. Lusk.
Her ability to hear comes days after her first birthday. "Yeah, there would be no speech basically and now we have every intention of getting her caught up with peers her own age and away she goes,” said dad Brian Brauer.
The Cochlear Implant Center at Boys Town Hospital has another reason to celebrate with Chloe. Her second implant was the 500th implant the hospital has placed.