Ear Community is proud to introduce Mazie Herzing, our newest Baha recipient! She was born last July and diagnosed with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear and Hemifacial Microsomia. She lives with her big sister, twin brother, and parents Carly and Shelley in Richmond, Virginia, USA. When Mazie was first diagnosed, her parents were told that she would never have hearing on her right side. Carly and Shelley went for a second opinion and that was when they were informed about a Baha as a possible way to help little Mazie hear “surround sound.” Like most parents, Mazie’s moms had worried about the inability for Mazie to access to auditory information. With Microtia and Atresia being so rare, getting all of the correct information can be hard to come by, so three cheers for Mazie’s parents for looking deeper for solutions that taught them more than they would ever imagine! While Mazie’s parents were doing their research, Carly’s sister, Amanda Bray (Mazie’s Aunt), was also learning more about Microtia and Atresia and thankfully found the Ear Community Organization.
On February 16th, 2017, the Ear Community Organization was given the opportunity to donate a brand new Cochlear Americas Baha 5 to little Mazie to help her hear better! When Mazie’s moms anticipated the day of the fitting, the happiness and excitement built even more. And when Mazie turned her head to Shelley that first time, when listening through her Baha, their hearts exploded with a million and one emotions they could never even explain.” Mazie’s moms said, “Thank you for helping us give hearing to our littlest one” when they were leaving the audiologists office, Shelley was talking on Mazie’s Microtia side, and she turned her head and smiled which was the first time she had done that! Mazie is a “brave, tenacious, and stubborn little girl” and Ear Community is thrilled to give her the opportunity to hear through both ears! Mazie’s big sister said to her, “You can hear out of your baby ear! You make me so happy!” This is a great thing for their whole family!
Carly’s sister, Amanda Bray, said, “I truly do not think we can put into words how much this has meant to us. When my sister and Shelley found out about the approval for Mazie to obtain a Baha through Ear Community, I truly do not think they have experienced a happier moment in their entire lives. Amanda said “I would like to personally thank Ear Community for “hearing” my sister’s story and considering our family for this incredible gift. Your clear commitment to helping the “community” find answers to some of parents and families most difficult questions about these beautiful little miracles is nothing short of amazing. I hope you know how much you have touched our lives, and I am certain the lives of many, many others. What you have built is incredible on so many levels.
Ear Community would like to say thank you to Meredith Heiner, Au.D., CCC-A at the VCU Health Systems Audiology Department for donating her time to fit and program Mazie’s Baha 5. Ear Community would like to express a special thank you to Nancy Klein of Cochlear Americas for releasing Mazie’s donated Baha 5 and making sure it made it’s way to Dr. Heiner’s office for Mazie’s fitting. Mazie would not be able to hear better today if it were not for wonderful corporations like Cochlear Americas who make amazing hearing technology. From all of us, thank you for helping Mazie hear better! “Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. It has a dedicated global team of more than 2,500 people who deliver the gift of sound to those with hearing loss in over 100 countries. Its vision is to connect people, young and old, to a world of sound by offering life enhancing hearing solutions. In 2013, Cochlear celebrates 100,000 Baha System users – all with unique stories of how being able to hear again has impacted their lives. The Cochlear promise of “Hear Now. And Always” embodies the company’s commitment to providing its recipients with the best possible hearing performance today and for the rest of their lives.”
We are all so happy that Mazie can hear so much better now and for knowing how bright her future will be from here on out. We’re also very proud of Mazie’s family for doing their research and finding help through the Ear Community Organization for Mazie and for themselves, as a family.
Mazie, we wish you the best of everything that this world has to offer, and look forward to watching the great impact you’ll have!
Ear Community Organization