When Ivy Welsh was six years old, she wanted so badly to have a big girl ear because Ivy was born with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear. When Ivy’s mom, Nicole, had found a doctor who said he could make her a beautiful ear, she was very excited and couldn’t wait for her surgery to begin. At the age of six, Ivy began her first of seven surgeries for a Rib Graft ear. As each stage of surgery went by, Ivy was hopeful that her new ear would begin looking better and better. However, by the seventh stage of surgery, Ivy and her mom, Nicole, realized that her ear didn’t look like what they were expecting or what the doctor had promised. This is when Ivy’s family realized that Ivy had a botched ear.
For the past seven years, Ivy has cried herself to sleep wishing and praying for a new ear, but her family couldn’t afford another surgery. “When Ivy was younger, she used to ask Santa for a new ear and she would also ask the Easter Bunny too for a new ear until she figured out they couldn’t do it,” says Nicole Welsh. “Ivy would cry terribly after her surgeries and the kids were so harsh to her by teasing her about her ear over the years.” During the last four years, Ivy has prayed and told her church that some day she hopes God will help her get a new ear. On June 17th of this year, Ivy’s prayers will be answered and her wish for a new ear will be granted as she is scheduled for Medpor surgery with Dr. Sheryl Lewin. Dr. Lewin’s foundation, Earicles – Miracles for Ears will be helping finance Ivy’s surgery. Ear Community is proud to help Ivy and her family with airfare and rental car expenses during her surgeries for her new Medpor ear. Debrah Henderson of the surgery office, K and B Surgical Center, was also able to help Ivy’s family find a place to stay for free during her surgery. Together, the community has managed to come together for Ivy’s family and help one little girl’s wish come true for a second chance to get a new ear.
Even though Ivy’s new ear may require more than one or two surgeries to remove the Rib Graft ear and create a Medpor ear for her, the family is thankful for this second
chance for Ivy. The Welsh family will be away from their home for nearly one month for the first stage of surgery and will most-likely require additional trips to California for her final procedures over the next year. Nicole Welsh has been a member of the Microtia and Atresia Support Group, founded by Melissa Tumblin, for over three years and was the second member to join the group searching for answers and help for her daughter’s botched ear. “Ivy’s story was one of the very first heart breaking stories I learned about when I first started my support group in 2010,” says Melissa Tumblin. “I am overwhelmed with tears of joy that Ear Community can take part in helping Nicole and Ivy get a second chance for a happier life with a new ear.” “The funding for the Welsh family’s travel expenses would not be possible if it were not for the amazing donations that have come through Ear Community from families and organizations who believe in helping give back to the Microtia and Atresia community,” says Melissa Tumblin. The Welsh family does not have insurance coverage and has tried to fund raise over the past years, but have not been as successful as they had hoped. “I have watched the Welsh family grow over the past years as they have struggled financially.” “I am happy that this opportunity is finally happening for them,” says Melissa Tumblin.
Founder and Executive Director of Ear Community
Founder of the Microtia and Atresia Support Group