We continually asked for answers as our suspicions grew but were told repeatedly "she's fine.” Finally hearing the words "your child is deaf" when Lexi was 14 months old was still devastating. I was heartbroken when I realized she never heard my lullabies.
After seven years and over 17,000 free hearing screenings provided, two Hear the Music Kids Camps and a mission serving deaf children in Jamaica, everyone continues to ask us “How did you pick your charity’s name “Songs for Sound?”
I’ll never forget handing my little baby girl, Lexi, over to Kevin and going into a room to cry. I would rock her at night, but she wouldn’t put her head down on my shoulder. In fact, quite the opposite. She would squirm, turn and often cry. Having just lost my mother to breast cancer the year before, all I wanted to do was connect with my daughter like I connected with my mom.
I would sing to Lexi the same lullaby over and over…Seven Years by Norah Jones, “spinning, laughing, dancing to her favorite song, a little girl, with nothing wrong, is all alone….”
We continually asked for answers as our suspicions grew but were told repeatedly “she’s fine.” Finally hearing the words “your child is deaf” when Lexi was 14 months old was still devastating. I was heartbroken when I realized she never heard my lullabies.
From bleak news to a miracle
The same day we received such bleak news about Lexi’s future, was also the day we heard the most miraculous words “Lexi should be a good candidate for a cochlear implant”; something we’d never heard of.
Four months later on July 17, 2009, Lexi was implanted bilaterally and currently hears with Cochlear’s Nucleus 6 processor. Lexi is now 10 years old and as I write this, I am in awe of how God orchestrated all of this. Her story and the impact it has made in so many lives is greater than the nearly two years she missed out on sound.
Lexi is one of the top fast-pitch softball pitchers in the country. She is a basketball player, on the swim team, the dance team and an excellent student, recently receiving all A’s on her report card. Lexi is living the life God meant for her to live. Her resilience in every situation she faces is remarkable and is a result of overcoming deafness to now being able to hear a whisper.
A motivation to help others
For the blessings we’ve been granted, I’ve dedicated my life to making sure everyone I can reach will receive the same opportunities as Lexi.
I founded my charity, Songs for Sound, in 2011 and to date, we’ve hosted hearing awareness events in over 25 states, providing over 17, 000 free hearing screenings with our mobile screening clinic.
We host missions in Jamaica helping under served deaf children receive hearing tests and ear exams. We hold an annual Hear the Music Kids Camp for children with hearing loss and their families.
No good story goes without some heartache, but we are judged on what we do with it. For us, it was the thought of another child missing their mommy’s lullaby, a father missing out on his daughter’s wedding dance song or walking down Broadway here in Nashville, our home, and not hearing all the country music. Never take these moments for granted. And THIS is the reason we started “Songs for Sound” and we welcome volunteers who also want to give back, like Carolyn.
Giving back with Songs for Sound
Carolyn is a volunteer with Cochlear Americas and is using her gift to give back, volunteering with our mobile screening clinic at events near her home. Asked about what inspired her to get involved with Songs for Sound, Carolyn said, “I really appreciate seeing on their website ‘Let love be our greatest aim’ as it translates to accepting all people as hearing loss does not discriminate. Everyone should feel as if they’re in a safe and non-threatening environment while having their hearing screened. Because Songs for Sound is not affiliated with any medical office, there is absolutely no sales tactic or pressure to lean towards a certain product or medical professional. I grew up with hearing aids and now have a cochlear implant while being deaf in my other ear, so I have experiences to share but also know that every person has their own needs and journey. Songs for Sound is a free public service and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with this outstanding charity. If Songs for Sound is in your area, I encourage you to volunteer with them.”
Cochlear Americas is Presenting Sponsor for Songs for Sound. To learn more about Songs for Sound’s mission please visit their website. You can also visit Cochlear’s Consumer Events Calendar to find events near you.
Written by: Jaime Vernon, Founder/Executive Director, Songs for Sound
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