We first learned about little Gracie when she was enrolled in one of our nutrition programs in Guangdong Province. As soon as we were sent her photo, we began to get opinions on how to best help her. We learned from several physicians who looked at her pictures that she was most likely born with a condition known as Treacher Collins Syndrome.
Children with this condition have issues with their facial structure, but they usually have normal intelligence. We first posted Gracie’s photo to our Facebook page several months ago, and the response was just incredible. So many people emailed us asking how they could help her, and several supporters told us that she needed a bone conduction hearing aid so that she could begin to develop normal speech.
We are always humbled by the outpouring of support shown to these wonderful kids, and within 24 hours someone had offered to speak with a medical supply company to see if she could get a hearing aid donated. We were overjoyed when Oticon Medical, based out of New Jersey, heard Gracie’s story and agreed to send one of their best bone conduction hearing aids for us to hand carry to her in China in early March. When we first arrived to her orphanage, we couldn’t believe how very tiny this little girl is. She has the sweetest little spirit and loved to be held like a baby.
Before trying the hearing aid on her, we did a training session with her nannies on how to gradually get her used to wearing the device. And then little Gracie heard sound for the first time. We are looking forward to getting Gracie’s progress reports and seeing how quickly she starts to use spoken language. We are just so grateful for your continued desire to want to help every child possible!