Meet sweet Laura Lopez. Laura is from Salem, Oregon (United States) and is a Spanish speaking 13 year old who was born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia. Laura enjoys spending time with her family and is excited about becoming a teenager. Laura is a happy girl with a beautiful smile who lives for everyday because she realizes how precious life is. Laura and her brother Francisco, had a third sibling who was also born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia, but their sister only lived for two months. As a reminder of the loss of their other daughter, Laura’s parents, Ruben and Cellina, realize how important it is for their Laura to be able to live life to its fullest, now. Laura began experiencing problems with her hearing, preventing her from learning in school. At Laura’s last audiology appointment, it was discovered that her hearing was deteriorating and her Cochlear Divino processors were no longer working and had been experiencing intermittent problems over the past couple of years. However, being able to purchase new processors for Laura was unlikely as Laura’s parents struggle every month to pay the rent, put food on the table, and continue to pay the hospital bills from the loss of their daughter. They also do not have insurance coverage and do not receive any help from the government.
Dr. Joann Clinton at Willamette Education Service District is Laura’s audiologist and she wanted to help Laura hear better so she could be given the chance to continue learning in school just as every child should be given. Dr. Clinton found out about Ear Community and quickly notified Laura’s parents, Ruben and Cellina Lopez. Laura’s parents applied to the Ear Community Foundation in hopes of obtaining new hearing devices for their Laura. “Ear Community is proud to be given the opportunity to donate its first set of new Cochlear BP110 Power processors to Laura, so she can hear now and always, getting the most out of life.“ says the Founder and Executive Director of Ear Community, Melissa Tumblin. This August, Laura was fitted with her new power Bahas and is relieved to hear again. Dr. Clinton said Laura’s family “invited their neighbors, herself, and Laura’s teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Gretchen, to have dinner at their home celebrating Laura’s hearing. “They even did a little demonstration of how Laura’s new Bahas sounded. Everyone had a good time and there were even a few tears of happiness throughout the night. It was such a happy day for Laura and her family.” said Dr. Clinton. “These are the moments that remind us of why it is so important to have charities for the communities and individuals who need them.” says Melissa Tumblin. Bobbi Scheinin, Senior Product Manager for Cochlear American’s Baha division, wanted to make sure that Laura received her new Bahas in time for school to start and so together, we did.
Thank you to everyone for helping make this all possible for Laura. Dr. Clinton, Bobbi Scheinin of Cochlear Americas, and Ear Community were happy to collaborate and help a young lady with Microtia and Atresia hear life the way it was intended. A special thank you to Cochlear Americas for donating the two new processors because Laura would not be hearing today if it were not for wonderful products manufactured by companies, such as Cochlear Americas, who respectively donate quality hearing devices to charity organizations, like Ear Community. “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.”
A special thank you to Bobbi Scheinin at Cochlear for collaborating with Ear Community so it can donate hearing devices that help children and adults who are born with Microtia and Atresia. Bobbi and the Cochlear team have been a huge supporter for Ear Community for the past 3.5 years and Laura is Ear Community’s first Cochlear Baha recipient. Thank you from all of us at Ear Community for your compassion and for supporting the Microtia and Atresia Community. Below are some additional pictures of Laura’s special day with her new Cochlear BP110 Power processors!
Founder and Executive Director of Ear Community
and Ear Community’s Board of Directors