Story of Healing

Madelyn Lance

Franklin Parish

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"During Madelyn’s newborn screening, she showed signs of hearing loss. That hearing loss got progressively worse, and Ruth says her daughter became deaf."

Baskin, Louisiana native, Ruth Lance, was just 34 weeks pregnant when she went into labor with her daughter, Madelyn. Though her baby girl came early, Ruth knew all of her scans had been normal through pregnancy and her birth weight was sustainable, even though Madelyn was a preemie. What she didn’t know, is that she had CMV, or cytomegalovirus.  

CMV is one of the most common viruses most adults get or have gotten in their life, and though it is silent and harmless in pregnant women, it can be transmitted to the fetus leading to various effects for the unborn baby and newborn.  

“I didn’t know anything about it,” explains Ruth. “My doctor said my placenta was inflamed, which usually means the mom is fighting a virus. I didn’t even feel like I was sick, but I’m glad I delivered early. The longer they baby is in the womb and not being treated, the more serious the effects are of CMV. So, it’s a blessing she came early.”  

During Madelyn’s newborn screening, she showed signs of hearing loss. That hearing loss got progressively worse, and Ruth says her daughter became deaf. That’s when Madelyn’s healthcare providers told the Lance family about cochlear implants, which are small electronic devices that stimulate the cochlear nerve in order to restore the ability to hear.  

“We were referred to Dr. Joel Jones, a pediatric otolaryngologist at Children’s Hospital New Orleans, and he absolutely loves his work. You can tell this is his life’s calling, and he is the kind of doctor who really gets involved with his patients and their treatment plan,” says Ruth. 

In 2020, the surgery for Madelyn’s cochlear implants in both ears took around 8 hours. Ruth describes the stress of having a child go through such an extensive surgery but rejoices at the incredible outcome. 

“She went years without hearing any sounds and making any sounds. Madelyn was mute and now she’s saying several words like bye-bye and no,” shares Ruth. “She’s in speech therapy and babbling a lot more. It’s amazing!” 

With her 10-year-old brother, Austin, cheering on his little sister and acting as the ultimate protector, Madelyn continues to grow and progress in every way.  

“She loves CoComelon,” jokes mom. “That’s her favorite!” 

The Lance family continues to visit Children’s Hospital New Orleans every few months so the team can make sure she’s responding to sounds and that her implants are correctly adjusted.  

Learn more about the Cochlear Implant Center here