Today, I would like to share a special story with you. It is a story about a young boy, his family, and their desire for the boy to hear.
This is Henry’s story.
He was a normal, healthy child for the first six months of his life. At six months of age Henry contracted meningitis. His condition went undiagnosed for several hours in the hospital.
Henry was in a coma for several days. Liza and Jason prayed. A prayer network of over 100,000 people was setup, praying for Henry’s recovery.
The miracle occurred. Henry woke up.
Henry recovered. He learned to sit up. His muscles toned and he began to grow. But the damage had been done. Henry’s cochlea, the tiny, seashell shaped bones in the ear that transmit sound to the auditory nerve, had been damaged by the meningitis.
Henry could not hear.
For the next 4.5 years, Henry’s family worked diligently to find ways to communicate with Henry and give him the ability to communicate with them. Liza stumbled across a system called Cued Speech. Different from American Sign Language, Cued Speech uses hand shapes and positions along with spoken language to visually represent the various phonetic sounds from speech. Through hard work and patience Henry and his family were finally able to communicate.
Henry was still unable to hear or speak. Custom hearing aides offered no relief. Special education was limited in the success it had with Henry. He learned to communicate more, to recognize words, but there was so much more he wanted to say. There is so much still locked away inside of him.
In July of 2012, Liza and Jason, after much deliberation, decided to have Henry implanted with Cochlear implants. The family set out late at night for Baltimore and John’s Hopkins Hospital.
The surgery took approximately four hours. Henry received bilateral implants and began the road to recovery.
Today Henry is fully recovered. There is a small scar behind each ear, but he is a happy, active child. He laughs. He plays. He loves his family with a wild fierceness. His eyes are bright and he loves to explore his world. He loves to draw with sidewalk chalk and ride his bike.
Despite all of this, Henry cannot still hear or speak. His implants will be activated on September 14, 2012. From that point forward, Henry will need therapy and specialized education to learn to hear, interpret language, and speak his first words.
Liza has found a school in Urbana, IL. The staff there have met Henry and are willing and eager to take Henry under their wing and teach Henry, train him to understand language through his implants, hear his parents tell him they love him, and speak his first words to his family. To make sure this happens, to give Henry every chance, Liza will be moving with Henry down to Urbana and live there with him during the week. Her husband and daughters will remain in Evanston, holding down the fort and seeing her and Henry on the weekends. This is the level of dedication the family has to Henry.
The only thing standing in the way is money. That is where you can come in.
We have setup a donation site to raise funds to get Henry the education and therapy he needs. Please follow the link below and consider donating. The smallest amount can help Henry learn and experience life to its fullest extent. You can help a young boy hear and speak.
You can be a part of Henry’s Miracle.
Please click the link below to donate.
We understand that times are difficult and not everyone can afford a donation. Please pass this message along to your friends and family and encourage them to do the same. Thank you so much for your kindness and support.
You can follow Henry’s progress on his Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Henrys-Miracle/134179793323009