Texas toddler hears for the first time with cochlear implant

U.S. & World

A cochlear implant helps an Amarillo one-year-old hear for the first time.

Ayla Esler failed her hearing screening when she was a newborn. It was confirmed after multiple tests that she could not hear.

“They brought her in and did some more tests and said she can’t, she can’t hear,” said Will Esler, Ayla’s dad.

After more doctor visits, the Eslers determined a cochlear implant could help Ayla.

A few weeks ago she had the surgery to put the implant in. With the implants, Ayla can now hear.

“This surgery is literally going to change her life,” said Anna Esler, Ayla’s mom. “It will open doors that would’ve been closed.”

Ayla’s reaction to hearing for the first time was caught on camera at Cook Children’s Hospital.

“To actually see that happen, to see her hearing and to know she was hearing, it was just amazing,” said Will.

Ayla’s parents said they hope their story reminds people of other families who cannot get cochlear implants for their children and will raise awareness to help others.

“I just feel for the families who really want implants for their kids, and they can’t get it because they can’t afford it,” said Anna.

The Eslers told us they had a lot of support from the deaf community in Amarillo throughout the process.

They had been communicating with Ayla through sign language. Now, Ayla will continue audio and speech therapy.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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