J.R.’s Story as Told by His Mom
On June 15, 2013 our family of three became a family of four. Our precious baby boy James Robert (J.R.) was born. Every inch of him was perfect. The nurse came and got him several times to run the typical tests. He failed his newborn hearing screening and we were told not to worry, it was almost certain that it was fluid in his ears. Two weeks later we took him back to the hospital and he failed the hearing screening again. This time I had a lump in my throat. I prayed for ten fingers and ten toes but I never even thought about hearing. July 12, 2013 we took him for an Auditory Brain Response (ABR) Test and it was confirmed that he had at least severe hearing loss in both ears. I was devastated. I cried the whole way to the car and the whole way home (and many days after). However, it was not a surprise. He was not startling to loud noises like his sister had nor was he looking in the direction of sound. After further, more extensive testing, on July 24, 2013 he was diagnosed with profound sensorineural hearing loss. He was born deaf. His world was silent.
Soon after the diagnosis, I was contacted by Cara Senterfeit, a Parent Educator, from BEGINNINGS. We scheduled a time for her to come and meet our family. We were distraught, angry, confused and sad. After Cara left our house after that first visit, I knew everything was going to be okay. She gave us hope. We were not alone in this. As a matter of fact, we now had an advocate. Not only was Cara an expert in dealing with hearing loss, she provided us with options. After much discussion and research, our family decided to explore the option of cochlear implantation. The process can be overwhelming. Cara held our hand the whole way, she never left our side. We ask her to be there when we met with BabyNet. She was there. We asked her to be there when we met with our early intervention agency. She was there. We asked her to be there when we met our Auditory Verbal Therapist. She was there. Cara not only was our advocate but quickly became an extension of our family.
J.R. was aided at 3 months and was implanted at 8 and 9 months. He heard his Mommy and Daddy’s voice for the first time on March 17, 2014. He is now saying 13 words and we couldn’t be happier. We can never repay BEGINNINGS for what they have done and continue to do for our family. They have been with us every step of the way on this journey from silence to sound.