Emma and Molly Waters
Discovering Hearing Loss
When Molly was born in 2017, she failed her newborn hearing tests. At this time, her sister Emma was four and her parents were unaware she had any sort of loss.
Emma’s preschool teachers commented that she was quiet in school and seemed to rely on her peers for verbal guidance. At her first kindergarten parent-teacher conference, Emma’s teacher noticed baby Molly’s hearing aids and asked if Emma was ever tested for loss. Emma had passed her newborn screening, but never had any further testing. The next day, Emma had her hearing tested by the school nurse and failed. Soon after, she was tested by an audiologist and fit with hearing aids.
“We are thankful for the newborn screening that quickly picked up Molly’s loss,” says their mom, Marissa, “Had Molly not been born with her hearing loss, we still might not know about Emma’s loss. She could very well have continued to struggle at school and with her peers without us knowing. We always say that her little sister is her ‘hear-o’ for shining a light on Emma and her needs. Emma was unaware of all the sounds she was missing out on until she was aided.”
There are many moments for Emma and Molly that symbolize the impact better hearing has had on their lives.
“At the age of 18 months, Molly wakes up and signs and points to her ears signaling that she wants her hearing aids in,” says Marissa. “For a baby to want to wear these devices really shows me that they are beneficial and she likes hearing.”
For Emma, her hearing aids help her hear her teacher and her friends at school. She was surprised when she first heard new sounds (like the turning signal in her mom’s car) and she says her favorite sound to hear is music.
“I like to sing, dance, and play instruments. I can hear music better now with my hearing aids and it’s amazing,” Emma says.
Now that Emma and Molly are thriving with their hearing aids, the whole Waters family is committed to giving back to other kids with hearing loss! After realizing how expensive hearing aids are, their older sister Carly came up with a way to help kids in need afford hearing aids.
Carly originally wanted to have a lemonade stand, but after discovering that she needed a special permit to do that, she came up with a different plan. At just eight years old, Carly designs, sews, and sells stuffed lemons to raise funds for families of children with hearing loss. Learn more about her Lemon-Aids here!
Like her sister, Emma wants to use her talents to give back. She has developed a love and passion for music and American Sign Language. She signs beautifully and aspires to be a sign language interpreter when she grows up!
“I want to help people hear better. I want them to be happy and proud with their ears,” says Emma. “I want to let people know all about hearing aids and how they are awesome.”
HearStrong is proud to have the support of these awesome sisters!