We know that honest conversation about others’ experiences can be the most powerful tool in making the right decision for the best hearing care. This summer, we hosted meetups all around the U.S. where local advocates shared their Ponto journeys. Advocates like Dayla Hurley, shared how her son Brody’s life changed since receiving his bilateral Ponto 3 SuperPower’s .
Brody’s first time truly hearing music and his reaction:
Brody’s first time saying “Mommy”:
Our meetups are continuing this Fall and advocates like Dayla will hold empowering discussions and conversation around bone anchored hearing.
We’re sad to see Summer go, but we’re excited to see you this Fall. Check out the list below to see if we’re coming to your city and don’t forget to RSVP!
Richmond, VA September 14, 2018 Hosted by Bethany Geldmaker RSVP here
Charlotte, NC October 6, 2018 Hosted by Kathy Bowie RSVP here
Raleigh, NC October 20, 2018 Hosted by Nancy Oberman RSVP here
Cincinnati, OH November 3, 2018 Hosted by Camilla Gilbert and Brittney Underwood RSVP here
If you are interested in hosting an event in your area, we’d love to chat! You can email Liz at [email protected] or comment below.
Our community is filled with individuals who have overcome tremendous obstacles, advocated for themselves and others, and ultimately found the right hearing solution in thePonto Bone Anchored Hearing System. Below we’ve highlighted just a few of our incredible community members in hopes that their stories will inspire and motivate, and continue to remind us of what human determination and persistence can achieve.
You can’t be what you can’t see – Marie Wilson
Annika Sappington – heart warrior
Annika was born with bilateral microtia and atresia and last November was implanted with bilateral Ponto 3 SuperPowers. This month, she underwent open heart surgery to correct a heart anomaly and journeyed from Texas to Boston with her family for the operation. While Annika was in recovery, she wore one of her Ponto’s so she could hear her family, nurses and doctors entering the room.
“She refused to take her Ponto off for four days straight. 24/7 without turning it off. She wanted to be able to hear when the staff came in at night to check her vitals and give pain meds. I thought for sure the battery would run down with nonstop use and it hasn’t.” – Shannon Sappington, Annika’s mother
After a successful surgery, Annika traveled back to Texas, using her Streamer to enjoy her flight home where she is now recovering and jumping back into Summer activities.
“I love that on airplanes Annika can plug her streamer into the screen and it bluetooths to her Pontos—she can watch AND hear movies! Without that streamer, she wouldn’t be able to hear the movie since she has no ears for headphones. The streamer is her own personal headphone! It’s the little things that make a BIG difference!” Shannon Sappington
This year she competed at Nationals in a dance duo where she won Gold, earned 2nd place in her category and placed 13th out of 36 duos. Next month, she will be traveling to Secaucus, NJ for the World Dance Championship, and we’re wishing her the best of luck!
Anthony Smith – A real “Hear-O”
You might recognize Anthony Smith by a different name – “Blue Ear”. Blue Ear is a fictional superhero created by Marvel in honor of Anthony, a 9-year old Ponto user who also happens to love comic books. Anthony and his family inspired Marvel Comics to create a new superhero with a listening device, which led to the design of a comic that was distributed as an educational tool for children in NYC public schools. The comic helped teach children about hearing loss and why bullying is intolerable.
This year, Anthony was honored by the Children’s Hearing Institute at the UN, and took home the Hearing “Hear-O” Award for his advocacy and being a real-life inspiration to children with hearing loss all around the world.
Sarah Sabal – engineering her future
Sarah Sabal was unaided until the age of 7.5 when she was adopted by the Sabal family. She now has bilateral Lewin Ears and wears bilateralOticon Medical Ponto 3 SuperPowers on abutments. She was recently accepted into a competitive engineering pipeline internship program with a multinational power company based in the UK. She is a top student, with the opportunity to pursue a number of different opportunities. Her mother Angela mentioned their concern about wearing the engineering hard hat over her Ponto 3 Superpowers.
“My biggest worry was the engineering hard hat not fitting over her processors and having to reimplant her, but it was needless worry because the hard hat fits with zero feedback!!” – Angela Sabal
Isabella Rodriguez – advocating for herself on and off the court
Isabella was born with microtia and atresia and began wearing a Ponto Bone Anchored Hearing System in 2015. She is now in high school and plays competitive volleyball while wearing her Ponto, which she says helps her hear her coaches and teammates. In 2017,she participated in the State Wide Oratorical Contest for the Deaf/Hard of Hearingand took first place. She is now preparing for college next year, where she intends to play volleyball at the collegiate level.
“I’m proving people wrong. It’s not just me, anyone with a hearing loss can do it, you just need to keep pushing.” – Isabella Rodriguez
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