Amplifying Lily’s Possibilities
Just three days after receiving her hearing aid from Variety, Lily’s speech had already begun to improve. Now she is attempting to articulate more words than ever and can’t stop singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
But words haven’t always come so easily for Lily.
At a very young age, Lily experienced a significant amount of fluid in her ears, preventing sound waves from entering her inner ear. She underwent ear tube surgery in hopes of improving her hearing, but Lily’s ear canals were too narrow for the doctors to complete the procedure.
Lily was left with moderate hearing loss that couldn’t be resolved any time soon, and a 3-4 year wait until the doctors could even consider attempting the procedure again.
Silvia, Lily’s mother, earned a Masters in Speech-Language Pathology and a Bachelors in Audiology, so she understands the early years of a child’s life are the most critical for speech development.
“I basically panicked because I know how important it is for her to hear sounds,” Silvia explains. “The sounds she was not hearing included the soft ‘h’ y ‘s’ y ‘th.’ Whenever we’d speak to her, she was hearing us talk, but she wasn’t hearing the full words.”
Searching for options, a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) device was determined as the best option for Lily to bypass the fluid in her ear. Soon after, Lily’s parents were recommended to Variety by audiologists and Lily’s early intervention coordinator.
Variety provided Lily with a $8,000 BAHA device, impacting Lily and her family’s daily lives immediately. Within days of wearing the device, Lily’s speech started evolving. She pronounced “sock” instead of “dock” y “hot” instead of “dot!”
“With insurance not covering hearing aids, and me out of work for maternity leave with Lily’s brother, it’s been a tough year financially,” shares Lily’s parents. “We could not have afforded her BAHA without Variety.”
Within the first week of Lily wearing her BAHA device, Silvia received emails from Lily’s teachers saying they noticed she was saying and attempting more words. Lily is happier, and everyone around her is taking notice.
“Now that Lily can hear sounds she previously couldn’t, she is learning to produce those sounds into her everyday communication,” remarks Silvia.
Almost 10 months later, Lily started speaking in phrases and sentences- leading her towards academic gains, social progress, and the ability to express her opinions, wants, and needs.
Michael and Silvia are passionate about sharing Lily’s story, with the aspiration of spreading the importance of including people with differences and making the world more accessible for people like their daughter.
“We look forward to seeing how much growth Lily will continue to show with this amazing hearing device. We’re very thankful for Variety!” expresses Lily’s parents.
Successes like Lily’s are only made possible through the generosity and compassion of Variety supporters. If you want to help more Variety Kids access life-changing medical equipment, give today!