Just a few months shy of his second birthday a Rockford toddler hears for the first time. 13 News Anchor Katie Nilsson caught up with the Esquivel family to share little Jesse's story.
Jesse Ramirez was born on a cold February day in 2012. His mother Jessica says they knew something wasn't right, right away. "He failed the hearing test at the hospital when he was born."
Doctors told her she had a healthy baby boy, but that she may have to look in to his hearing. At the time, Jessica had no idea about the long journey that was ahead of her. "He was failing a lot of tests and finally they did diagnose him with hearing loss."
Jessica thinks her son lost all hearing around six maybe seven months. She took him to doctors in DeKalb and at the Children's Hospital of Chicago. It was in Chicago she learned Jesse was a candidate for a cochlear implant. That's an electronic device, surgically implanted, that can help hearing impaired or people who are deaf, hear. Jesse had surgery two weeks ago, Jessica says they turned on his implant a little more than 24 hours ago. "It was very exciting to see him hear for the first time. He don't recognize the sounds, he's not like oh yeah, I know what I'm hearing, but it's basically the reaction."
Jessica says her baby reacts now in ways she's never see him react to before. While he can't hear everything just yet, doctors tell Jessica he should, by Christmas. "The device does not cure his hearing loss, it helps him hear, but it does not cure it. When the device is off, and he doesn't have it on him, he can't hear, it's silent."
That's one of the many reasons why Jessica plans to keep learning sign language and teaching it to Jesse. She says the family will be able to communicate with or without the hearing device. "No more silent, voiceless, faces, you know he can actually hear mom, dad brother, grandma, everybody in the family!"
Jesse goes back to see if he can get the cochlear implant on his other ear turned on December 2nd.
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