Meet Jadyn Emis

 

Jadyn Emis was not quite 5 years old when she failed a hearing screening test at her preschool. She’d been in speech therapy for a couple of years, and had a history of hearing loss on both sides of her family, but it still came as a shock to her mom, Erin, when tests done at a local doctor’s office confirmed that Jadyn had significant hearing loss. It came as even more of a shock when that doctor told her that Jadyn was too young to respond accurately to their hearing test, so Erin should bring her back in six months. Jadyn was about to start kindergarten, and Erin knew there was no time to waste.

“I didn’t feel right about it, so I called Arkansas Children’s Hospital myself,” Erin said. She and Jadyn traveled from their home in northwest Arkansas to have the hearing tests repeated at ACH’s audiology clinic. Thanks to you, they found an environment that was much more prepared to meet 4-year-old Jadyn at her level.

“It was night and day,” Erin said. “They played with her, and she was very engaged in the test. They told me what I already knew — she has sensorineural hearing loss, moderate to severe, and she definitely needed hearing aids. Thankfully, she got them the February before she started kindergarten.”

Because Jadyn’s hearing loss is limited to high frequency sounds, she missed certain consonants, such as S sounds, but was able to make enough sense of what she did hear to get by.

“They can really learn to improvise when they don’t realize hearing is the problem,” Erin said. Jadyn returned to the ACH audiology clinic several times that first year. She started out with a loaner set of hearing aids and then got to order her own, in the color of her choice. She asked for pink — “She’s the most girly girl I’ve ever known,” her mom said — but initially the audiology staff didn’t think the hearing aids she needed were available in that color. They found out they were wrong, but kept it from Jadyn to surprise her.“She was thrilled,” Erin said. “She thought it was the best day ever. I wish I had videotaped it — she said ‘Oh my gosh, Mom, I can hear! This is so great!’” 

It took several weeks for Jadyn to adjust to being able to hear everything, but her speech improved immediately, Erin said.  Jadyn is now an outgoing, smiling sixth-grader who sings in the choir at Old High Middle School in Bentonville. She visits a local audiologist every six months for a check-up, but her family’s connection with ACH is still strong: Erin now works as a scheduler in the ACH clinic in Lowell.

“I wanted to work for them because they made such a difference for us,” she said.Erin said she wanted to be an Ambassador for Arkansas Children’s Northwest because she’s seen firsthand the benefit of having pediatric specialists treat children’s medical problems. 

“There’s a huge difference in the care you get all around,” she said. “Children need to be with people who can understand them and meet their needs.”

 

Donate in honor of Jadyn by visiting her fundraising page here. Until no child needs us, we need you.

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