“I can’t be more proud or honored to be her mom. I’m truly blessed, and I will continue saying that, and I will continue telling people that until the day I die. She is amazing, and I am honored to be her mom,” said Annie Langley.
Tuesday at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, 16-month-old McKenna Grace Langley heard her mom Annie clearly for the first time in her life.
McKenna was born with hypoplastic right heart syndrome—which basically means—half a heart. She also has recently been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.
“But also, she has CHARGE syndrome, which is a pretty rare condition,” Annie explained. “Each letter of CHARGE means something different that is a characteristic for it. Heart defects and being deaf are two pretty common characteristics of CHARGE.”
The Langleys live in Lewis Center, but their second home is the hospital.
“Over the past 16 months, we have spent over 7 1/2 months in the hospital,” Annie said. “When she was first born [it was] 3 1/2 months, then, when she went back for some emergency brain surgeries, it was another 3 1/2 months. Then, just here and there… weeks, days, or evenings. It’s been a long time but now she’s thriving.”
Tuesday when McKenna got her hearing aids was a big step in that growth.
“It was an indescribable feeling… just the sense of unconditional love that I felt in that moment. The look of pure joy, and you could see the wonder on her face like the wheels were turning, she’s hearing all these new sounds,” Annie described.
Sounds many people take for granted.
“Hearing birds chirping for the first time was probably pretty incredible for her,” Annie added. “Today here it’s a little windy and the rain was coming down when we were walking back from the hospital, and she was just so interested in looking around at what was going on.”
Annie says it’s the best Mother’s Day gift she could ever receive.
“She said mama yesterday before surgery, and it kind of broke my heart… I mean not broke my heart, but I had never heard her say it before and it was heartbreaking. I was like oh my gosh this is the first step to a whole new journey.”
You can keep up with McKenna’s journey and learn about an upcoming funraiser for her on her Facebook page.