Thursday, November 22, 2012

Surgery could allow Ethiopian twin sisters to hear for the first time at Oklahoma

Family says cochlear implants will change their lives
OKLAHOMA CITY —A simple procedure is about to change the lives of an Oklahoma family that adopted two daughters from Ethiopia.

The little girls got hearing aid implants to give them the ability to hear for the very first time.

Seven-year-old Ruby Shasteen's bright smile already speaks for itself.

Her sister, Kate is already in surgery.

The girls' parents, Al and Chris Shasteen, are fully aware of how huge the day really is.

It's a big deal. Their lives are going to change," says mom Chris.

The Shasteens have seven children in all; six are adopted.

They got Ruby and Kate from Ethiopia a year ago.

Al Shasteen says, "We actually went to Ethiopia to adopt our 2-year-old and saw the twins there and just knew they couldn't be left behind in place
where they had no opportunity, no choices."

Both girls now communicate through sign language.

The cochlear implants will allow them to embrace a whole different world.

And for mom Chris, it means peace of mind.

"As a mom, taking kids through a parking lot at Wal-Mart it always scares me that somebody's not going to grab their hand and somebody's going to be backing up their car and not seeing them."

The hearing aids will be activated on December.

Doctors say it's a small device that in a big way will give a voice to two little girls who will now have the ability to hear it.