By Candice Gindle, Intern (Virginia Wesleyan College)
Bianca, just over two years old, was born deaf. Her mother, Ashley, says she wasn’t deaf in the womb. When Bianca was born, her potassium and creatinine levels were “sky high,” causing doctors to believe that her kidneys led to her deafness.
Traveling the Distance
Before Ashley discovered Airlift Hope of America, she was driving about 500 miles (10 hours), round trip, to Bianca’s doctor’s appointments at Carolina Children’s Communic. “They got us to our medical appointments,” Ashley says in reference to Airlift Hope of America. She says this has helped to make things much easier on her, since she and Bianca must make this trip once every two weeks.
On her second birthday, Bianca received a cochlear implant in her right ear. She must go to Carolina Children’s Communic every two weeks to have the implant turned up. Her hearing in her right ear is now at fifty and, according to Ashley, it only has to be turned up two more times before Bianca’s left ear is at full hearing.
“She’s been through a lot since she’s been born,” Ashley says about her daughter. Bianca still experiences different struggles, such as having to bathe with an ear plug to keep her implant from getting wet, but her mother tells us that Bianca’s implant has helped her to lead a relatively normal life. She is capable of hearing and understanding people, and she can also say words such as, “Momma,” “bye bye,” “brother,” and “eat.”
“We’re getting there,” says Ashley. Bianca is scheduled to have her second implant in her left ear next year.
Candice is a rising junior at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia. She is majoring in communications with a concentration in film, and she also enjoys writing. During her internship, Candice hopes to gain more writing and professional experience. In return, she hopes to make a positive contribution to Airlift Hope of America.