The excitement of bringing baby Diana home was quickly muted for parents Crystal and Justin Strohm.
“Getting rushed to the NICU and ER at 3 days old is terrifying and terrible,” says Justin Strohm
Diana had spiked a fever and wasn’t eating. She was facing several challenges…seizures, bacterial meningitis, and hydrocephalus, which is a buildup of fluid in the brain.
Over the next six weeks at children’s Minnesota hospital…doctors heavily medicated Diana to control the seizures and inserted a shunt in her brain to relieve the fluid.
They gave her antibiotics for bacterial meningitis but the infection was stealing hearing in her right ear.
dr. asitha jayawardena | children’s minnesota hospital
“if we don’t act quickly, we may not be able to give opportunity to hear out of that ear,” says Dr. Asitha Jayawardema of Children’s Minnesota Hospital.
The family had to decide within a week whether or not to go forward with a cochlear implant before the inner ear was permanently closed.
“We wanted her to have the best opportunity to have hearing,” Justin says.
At just 10-weeks-old, diana became the second youngest person ever to receive the implant.
The device turns sound vibrations into electrical signals that the brain can recognize.
mom’s gonna be the first to talk, ok?
The whole family was there as the earpiece lit up…and Diana could hear.
“Can you hear…she’s looking to the other side more, yeah she is!”
“Her eyes got super wide and she was just looking at me with that cute little innocent ‘I can hear something.'”
That’s something the family will never take for granted.
Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield, CBS News, Savage, Minnesota.