In 2001, my husband Warren and I were ecstatic to learn that we were expecting our first child. We welcomed Gary Warren Walsh, III (Trip) into our hearts on January 28, 2002. After failed hearing tests at the hospital and an audiology evaluation, it was verified that our baby was born profoundly deaf. He would need to wearing hearing aids for at least one year, attended weekly sessions in auditory verbal therapy (AVT) and have a CT scan to verify he had all of the appropriate bone formations in order to be a cochlear implant candidate.
Just after his first birthday, according to protocol, Trip underwent cochlear implant surgery. Following four weeks of healing, he laughed and cried upon hearing his first sounds as his processor was activated. Our son could hear! We continued therapy sessions, and I talked to him constantly to help his brain learn to recognize sounds. Our thirteen month old son was equivalent to a newborn baby in speech development. He eventually caught up with his peers and now and at age 13, has no speech delays.