We love it when people share their hearing loss stories with us on social media. Our community often provides comfort, encouragement, inspiration and support for others in similar situations.
Recently we connected with one of our Instagram friends who we think has a wonderful story to share. I had the opportunity to chat with Kellie, the mom of 7-month-old Gabby, about a video she shared with us. This is their story:
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Jill: Thanks for connecting with us on Instagram! Can you tell us a bit more about Gabby’s hearing loss?
Kellie: While we were in the hospital when Gabriella was born, she failed both hearing screenings. After that we took her to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for another screening and two Baer tests, all of which came back showing that she was profoundly deaf in both ears.
Jill: What did you expect going into her first hearing aid appointment?
Kellie: While going in to her first hearing aid appointment we didn’t expect too much because her audiologist already told us that there was a good chance they wouldn’t help due to her level of severity of hearing loss. We believe and have faith that she will hear but just don’t know at what point it will be….
Jill: How has she adjusted to her hearing aids since receiving them?
Kellie: Gabby has had her hearing aids for about a month. She definitely doesn’t love wearing them but she’s getting used to it. They continually fall off (I’ve counted 24 times of fixing them in one day….ahhhhhh!!). Right now we are using headbands to keep them on, but I’m anxiously waiting for a pilot cap to arrive that I think will work better!
One exciting thing happened four days after putting on her hearing aids. Gabby wanted me to pick her up and was sad. When I walked past her, she cried “ma ma ma ma”! I’m guessing her aids didn’t help that much in four days, but we are still counting it as a win and her first word!!
Jill: You have a beautiful video documenting your family’s journey so far, and Gabby’s first hearing aid appointment. Why did you decide to have a professional video created for this moment?
Kellie: We decided to have our appointment recorded because sharing her story is so important to my husband and I. We believe there is a greater purpose for her life and sharing it, while touching others, is part of that purpose. I write a blog about her in hopes that people will see her story, follow along, and hopefully be inspired to stay positive. You can find something positive out of every situation if you try hard enough 🙂
Jill: What do you hope other people take away from your story?
Kellie: Gabby has an amazing story that we hope helps others know that they aren’t alone in their journey. She was born missing bones in her arms, shortened arms, missing fingers, two small holes in her heart, a section of narrowed esophagus and profound deafness in both ears … all of which doesn’t make her any less perfect or less loved. She is such an inspiration to us already and has already changed so much in our lives that we want to share that with all of you!
Jill: Do you have any advice for parents who are going through similar situations?
Kellie: We always have advice and I’m guessing our advice will continually change as we learn more. Right now, all I can say is that just because our baby girl was born looking different, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It can be a good thing if you just stay positive and be your child’s biggest cheerleader! They will learn so much from you, so be a great example and show them how to always stay strong and stay positive. Their differences can easily be turned into strengths, making the world a better place, one beautifully unique person at a time!
You can connect further with Kellie on her blog, www.gabriellashope.com.