At age 15 months, Melissa became ill with meningitis. Soon after, she was diagnosed with profound hearing loss. Hearing aids enabled her to hear sounds, but she could not understand words. She relied on sign language and lipreading in school. During her Sophomore year, Dr. Peters determined she was a CI candidate, but insurance would not cover it. We were told that DHF helps people who can’t afford services. Melissa got her CI and was activated on her 16th birthday. Her CI opened the door to a whole new world. Her hearing improved to a mild hearing loss. When I call her name, she answers. She hears birds chirping. She has a new love – music. I get chill bumps when I see her singing a song she’s listening to. Her speech continues to improve with auditory-verbal therapy. She is happier and more confident. God answered our prayers in finding Dr. Peters and DHF. We are forever grateful to them for making Melissa’s dream come true.
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