Growing up deaf

Robert Brown appears to be the typical teen. He's about to enter college and pursue his passion in the medical field, he goes to parties, he hangs out with his friends, all things you expect to find an average eighteen year old doing. He's played soccer since the age of seven and spent the last six years in the school band, the last three being the high school marching band. But what makes him special?

One of his special qualities is his ability to stand alone in front of a room full of people and get them all to laugh with his witty charm. You see, Robert is quite an advocate. He has spoke at many presentations on cochlear implants, early intervention, medical conventions and other childhood hearing loss events.

Robert's parents found out he was deaf when he was about two years old. He received his first cochlear implant when he was around three and a half years old and received his second when he was sixteen. Robert's parents taught him how to hear and speak once he was properly amplified. Now they are the ones sitting in the audiences listening to their son speak about what it was like for him growing up deaf in a hearing world and about how thankful he is to be able to hear with his cochlear implants. He has a great sense of humor and those attending his events appreciate his viewpoints as many of the audience members are professionals who work with deaf or hard of hearing kids, or parents of children with hearing loss. Robert is a great role model for all the Alabama children growing up with hearing loss. He's a remarkable young man and we wish him all the best as he begins his college education this Fall. Robert has not only been inside the operating room as a patient but he's been fortunate enough to witness cochlear implant surgeries already and other surgical procedures as well. Robert had rather be participating in the O.R. as a staff member rather than a patient so he's excited about his future as his parents are also. His mom has been a dedicated nurse at Children's Hospital for years. Robert Brown is showing our Bama kids how far a positive attitude, a sense of humor, and a great foundation can take you.


Chronicles of an Extreme ENT III

Please feel free to read the first two stories about Dr. Audie Woolley before you proceed. To read the first edition click here. To read the second edition click here.

For our final installment of Extreme ENT, you’re going to find out where you may find this doctor when he’s not improving the lives of children. But first, we want to tell you where you won’t find him. You won’t find this ENT getting his nails done or going out for a spray tan, he's too busy clubbing...

…at many of the top 100 golf courses in the world that is! He’s won several events in the last decade and has played the game since he was ten years old. He’s even played in Scotland and Ireland twice. He’s never hit a hole in one despite all his efforts but he’ll keep trying I'm sure.

You won’t see the doctor in a pair of plaid pants either, but you may be surprised that you could find him in a pair of camouflaged ones. He grew up an avid deer hunter and though he doesn’t get to go as often now, you could possibly find him in a field somewhere during turkey season, but you will have to look really close because he does have several pieces of camo in his wardrobe.

You won’t find Dr. Audie Woolley getting his hair and make-up done either…or would you?

If he’s at the Indian Princess Campout with his daughter Emme, you might actually find just that. She painted him up just right for their campout event where he claims all of the dad’s were painted by their daughters.

You won’t find him spending his vacations learning a new trade such as sewing or baking, he has to be outdoors! Every year, he takes his three boys with him on a wild and dangerous, energy packed and fun filled scenic adventure. This year they went on a 100-mile mountain biking trip in Utah. But they’ve traveled to Yellowstone, Ocoee River, the Grand Canyon…if it’s adventurous, they’ve either already done it, or have it on their “to do” list. Next year, they take on Peru.

Whether he’s getting his face painted by his daughter, or standing on the edge of a cliff with his sons, this doctor is quite extreme at work and at play. Give this man a Dave Matthew’s Band song and he can stand for hours in the operating room in attempt to help a child hear. Give him a good pair of hiking shoes and he’ll climb up to the highest cliff. For this father of four, it’s got to be extreme!


Fun Day at the Park

Mark your calendars if you are a Children's HEAR Center family for September 12, 2009. We are scheduled to have a fun day at Homewood Park and we hope to see you there. More details to come later, and we thank the mom responsible for organizing this event for us all to meet and have a family fun day. Thank You! Bama Ears will be there taking lots of pictures...