Deaf since birth, 20-year-old student receives the miracle of hearing
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A cutting-edge, magnetic, bone-anchored hearing aid has brought the gift of hearing to a 20-year-old, who will be able to hear his named called when he graduates on June 25.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Terrell Davis, a Harlem student at 47 The American Sign Language and English Secondary School, had the implants activated on June 3 at Lenox Hill Hospital.
Davis, the youngest of three sons, was born legally deaf. His right ear looked normal but did not work, while the left canal was bone and the outer ear had not formed.
Shy and soft-spoken, Davis let his mother, Brenda, do most of the talking when the implants were activated. "It's so exciting for us," she said. "It's the one thing that he wanted."
"[He's] a man of little words, but he's very moved," she added.
Brenda contacted the Little Baby Face Foundation, an organization that provides needy children with free reconstructive surgery for any facial deformity and got a hold of the wife of Dr. Thomas Romo, the director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Lenox Hill and Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospitals.
Romo, and 30 other physicians, donate their time and services, and take on about 30-50 children each year. Still he says, there are hundreds of children "waiting around the world," for this care. But he doesn't have to travel far to find children in need. "We don't have to go to India. All we have to do is go to Harlem."
Back in 2005, Romo created an artificial outer ear for Davis. After the cosmetic procedure he contacted Darius Kohan, director of otology at Lenox Hill and Manhattan Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat in order to reconstruct Davis's hearing.
Kohan created a bone-anchored hearing aid that vibrates the cochlea directly, to bypass the bones in the middle ear that didn't work. Then, in May, Davis had a magnet implanted into his head, and the June 3 procedure had the rest of the hearing aid implanted.
Brenda kept repeating the word "wow" as she and her son tested out the new device, grateful for the gift her son had received.
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