Cochlear implant a miracle solution for traffic reporter's daughter

Gina and Kennedy Gina and Kennedy

PHOENIX -- Five-and-a-half years ago my family’s journey with my sweet Kennedy and her hearing impairment started with these words from an audiologist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital: “Your baby has a hearing impairment.”

At the time we knew very little about what that meant, except that she could not hear as well as we could. When Kennedy was just 2 months old, she received hearing aids. We would later learn that Kennedy was born with a condition called enlarged vestibular aqueduct syndrome (EVAS). That makes her susceptible to progressive hearing loss.

Sure enough, as the years passed, Kennedy’s hearing levels dropped more and more. Then last spring, the hearing loss dipped into profound levels. That's when my husband and I made the decision to bring Kennedy to the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles.

The world-class professionals there, along with cutting-edge technology, gave Kennedy the gift of hearing, restoring her hearing levels. The show “The Doctors,” which airs on 3TV, featured my daughter’s story, and the process she underwent in receiving a cochlear implant.

First, Dr. William Luxford surgically implanted the device into Kennedy’s inner ear. Then, about three weeks later, the device was turned on by an audiologist at House.

Kennedy is currently undergoing aural rehabilitation, where she learns to listen with the device. Today, she has access to sounds she’s never heard before. But the greatest measure of success to me, as her mom, has been twofold.

First, Kennedy’s speech and language have improved at an incredible rate, which is particularly important as she prepares to learn how to read and write when she starts kindergarten in August.

Second, and just as important, her confidence is soaring. She can now assuredly engage in a conversation without having to guess what someone might have said.

With this amazing technology, I have watched my daughter’s vibrant personality bloom as she freely communicates with others and expresses her young thoughts and opinions. I can honestly say the cochlear implant has been nothing short of a miracle for my daughter and my family.

WATCH: Kennedy's story on "The Doctors"

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