LAWTON, OK (TNN) - “Cochlear Implants are prosthetic devices that allow deaf people like me to hear," said Paisley Harrison, who has worn the implant since she was 3.
After failing her 1st year hearing test, Paisley Harrison and her family said they knew many struggles might lie ahead, especially because her mom is a deaf education teacher, and has seen this all first hand.
“They tested her again at two years old, after she had been in speech therapy for nine months, she was scoring 6 months ahead, which was really exciting for us,” said Paisley’s mom, Summer Harrison.
Summer said they could finally breathe, but then the problem flipped back, and her hearing began rapidly declining. That’s when the Harrison family made the decision to try the implants.
“When I take it off I can’t hear, but when i put it on I can hear again,” said Paisley.
Paisley said she doesn’t remember much from the actual surgeries, only that the sounds were hard to handle early on.
“She’s done amazing with them. She bounced back very quickly. It was like she knew that she had access to sounds again, and that’s what she lost when her hearing loss was progressing,” said Summer.
Now at almost 9 years old, Paisley doesn't let the implants or her hearing problems stop her from being a normal kid.
She’s a competitive swimmer, and shows sheep at 4-H competitions.
Paisley’s reasoning for those activities?
“I like to swim, and my mom asked me If i wanted to show sheep,” said Paisley.
The Cochlear Implants even come with a cover so she can swim with them on.
Her mom said that’s a blessing, because now that she can hear, she doesn’t like when the ability is taken away.
“A couple of times she has said it’s too loud and she will take them off, but she really would prefer everybody else be quiet and her leaving her implants on, because she prefers to hear,” said Summer.
The family even cracks a joke or two about the implants.
“We joke with her when she says everyone’s being too loud. We say well, just go take your ears off,” said Summer.
Before her presentation wrapped up, she spoke about how important these implants have been to her.
“Cochlear implants are amazing and i’m so thankful for mine. I love being able to talk and hear my friends," said Paisley.
Summer also shared that her son Patton has the same hearing problems that Paisley has, and they both developed hearing loss at almost the same age. She says Cochlear Implants have been so great to their family, and she loves that Paisley and her brother get to share this experience together.
After the judge made her decision, Paisley Harrison won the contest, and was named Grand Champion.