Meet Krissia Lopez Romero. Krissia is a beautiful little eight year old girl who was born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia. While Krissia was born in El Salvador, she now lives with her family in Falls Church, Virginia (USA). Unfortunately, since Krissia was born in El Salvador, she does not qualify for Medicaid and her family has been unable to help her obtain hearing devices through Kaiser Permanente that could help her hear better. In addition to Krissia’s Microtia and Atresia, she also has severe scoliosis and complex heart conditions that limit her activities. In fact, Krissia is due for another heart procedure soon.
Thankfully, Krissia has been able to borrow two bone conduction hearing devices that have been provided by her school along with an FM system. However, the hearing devices must remain at school and sadly Krissia goes home deaf everyday. Communication for Krissia has been a struggle. Her mother, Claudia Romero, worries about her speech development and she worries about her safety when Krissia is at home and with her in public without the help of hearing devices.
Luckily, someone was watching out for Krissia! Krissia’s audiologists knew about the Ear Community Organization. One of Krissia’s medical professionals helped her apply to Ear Community as Krissia’s family is Spanish speaking only. On October 28th, 2015, Krissia was awarded and fitted with two brand new Ponto Plus bone conduction hearing devices that were donated by Oticon Medical through the Ear Community Organization. Thank you to Nicole Benlizar, Krissia’s case manager from Kaiser Permanente of Fairfax County, who was a great help in helping with translating for the family to Ear Community and to Krissia’s audiologists for appointments. Thank you to Dr. Colby Glidewell (audiologist) of Kaiser Permanente of Tyson’s Corner hearing clinic for donating her time and services to help fit and program Krissia’s new Oticon Medical bone anchored hearing systems. Thank you especially to Oticon Medical for donating the two new Ponto Plus hearing devices to Krissia. Krissia would not be hearing today and so much better at home and in public if it were not for Oticon Medical.
Krissia’s case manager, Nicole said “Thank you a million times. When [Krissia’s] mom called she was literally in tears because it allowed her daughter to hear and see a joy of hope that she never experienced before [outside of the classroom].” In following up with Krissia’s family, we are told that Krissia is enjoying wearing her new Ponto Plus hearing devices and that she is more confident at home during family conversations.
A very special thank you to Alan Raffauf, Vice President of Marketing for Oticon Medical US, for choosing to donate the new Oticon Medical Ponto Plus hearing devices w/streamer to Ear Community so that they could be donated to Krissia to help her hear better outside of the school classroom. Thank you for everyone’s support and for helping Ear Community continue with its mission of helping individuals with Microtia and Atresia. Oticon Medical believes in helping individuals with hearing loss so that they can live a better quality of life. Oticon Medical is a well respected international hearing device manufacturer that is a part of the “William Demant Group [which has] 100-plus years of experience in audiology and sound processing and established manufacturing and logistics infrastructure.”
“We are so happy that we could help Krissia hear better around the clock so she can now live the life she was meant to live and enjoy being a happy little eight year old outside of school too,” says Melissa Tumblin, Founder of Ear Community. Thank you to everyone who was involved in making this all possible for Krissia to obtain her hearing devices.
Thank you from all of us at Ear Community!
Melissa Tumblin (Founder and Executive Director)
Ear Community Board Members