Child Hears for the First Time - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Child Hears for the First Time

Child Hears for the First Time

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We begin tonight with a miracle.

A child - barely a year old - getting his first taste of the noisy world around him.

Melinda Bolton reports on the North Dakota boy's big day.

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Ever wondered what it's like to hear something clearly for the first time in your life?"

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Blake Zimmerman had cochlear implant surgery last month in Bismarck after the arrival of Dr. Joshua Yorgason in the capital. But his Grandma Katie Elston says that his older brother Landon had to take many trips to Rochester, Minnesota for his surgeries."

(Katie Elston, Blake's Grandma) "I mean, a weeks trip sometimes, cause they had appointments every day. You know they would schedule them so he didn't have to come back home. So they were there for like a week. Here we can just drive up to Bismarck, go home."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Blakes older brother Landon was born deaf as well, but even with his implant experience, it doesn't make the second go around any easier."

(Katie Elston, Blake's Grandma) "You knew what to expect and what to do, but it wasn't really easy... you know it's still hard it's still... you want your babies to be born perfect. But technology is crazy and wonderful."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "But before a baby can have the surgery performed they need to wait untuntil is at least a year old. Blake turned one in JulJuly. Katieys she's looking forward to his finding his voice."

(Katie Elston, Blake's Grandma) "It's gungoing to fun, noisy. (Laughs) You know, it's pretty quiet at their house right now."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Through a series of electrode adjustments, computer generated sounds, voices and clapping, the audiologists will create nerve stimulation specific for Blake. Its the moment the whole room as been waiting for."

(Jerrica Maxson, Audiologist) "I'm emotional every single time. Because you know, you establish a relationship with these families. You're with them since birth and you're watching them, and waiting them to turn a year and there's just nothing like it. It's... yea. There's really no words."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Maxson has been working in Pediatric Audiology for several years and says 90 percent of deaf born babies are born to hearing parents, so having those options in North Dakota is .... Priceless."

(Jerrica Maxson, Audiologist) "The fact that we can provide cochlear implants to families who choose that avenue... it's just wonderful."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "After today there will be many follow up appointments, tweaking his electrodes, letting Blake's brain learn, as babies' do so well... but now he will do it with all five senses."

"In Minot, Melinda Bolton, KX News."

Landon had two separate implant surgeries at age two in Rochester, Minnesota, while Blake was able to have both implants done during one surgery in Bismarck.

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