Cochlear implants help Indiana toddler hear again after ear infections lead to deafness

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Ear infections are common among children, but they rarely lead to deafness. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to 3-year-old Kyrie Norris from Terre Haute, Indiana.

Last year, Travis and Jen Norris noticed their daughter wasn’t recovering from a double ear infection and she was no longer responding to her name or verbal directions at day care.

Kyrie’s parents immediately sought help. Doctors suspected the cause of the girl’s hearing loss was pressure and fluid in her ears, so tubes were implanted to hopefully relieve it. After the procedure, her parents said it was clear that their daughter could still not hear a word and they were told she was deaf.

Looking for a miracle, Kyrie’s family rushed to Riley Hospital for Children. There, they met Dr. Rick Nelson. He diagnosed the girl with a genetic condition and recommended she undergo a 5-hour surgery for double cochlear implants. She had the surgery in August 2016.

Now, less than a year after her surgery, Kyrie is using her implants 15 to 18 hours per day and leads a normal life. She attends speech therapy sessions and is even beginning to pick up soft sounds.

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