Treasure Valley tot gets Cochlear hearing implant

Posted at 5:34 PM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 01:02:02-04

It's a day that her parents have been looking forward to since the day they found out their daughter was deaf. Monday, Annabelle Lawless got to try out her brand new Cochlear Implant for the very first time.

"It's a huge milestone. It's kind of a bigger deal than a birthday or anything. This is what we have been working towards," explained Sarah Jo Lawless, Annabelle's mom.  "I was shaking. It was kind of surreal. I am talking to my daughter and I talk to her everyday but I am talking to her and she has got a hearing device on her head."

You may remember Annabelle who was the star of a video that went viral last year after trying hearing aids for the first time.

While hearing aids help people who have less significant hearing loss, Annabelle has profound hearing loss. 

"For those patients who have a severe to profound hearing loss, the hearing aids can't give enough information to the brain to really hear well and that's when a Cochlear Implant does a better job," said Dr. Karrie Pargman, an audiologist as St. Luke's.

As long as she uses the device, the implant will allow her to speak and hear like any other kid.  

"The trick is going to be keeping it on her head," said Sarah Jo.

While her parents had the device installed that doesn't mean they will force her to use it. She is also learning sign language so that when she is older she can decide who she wants to be.  

"She is deaf. That is who she is and that is part of her identity but adding hearing opens up so many options for her and her future. I want her to do what she wants to do," said Sarah Jo.

Regardless of what Annabelle decides to do, to her parents, she's is perfect.