Stories about: Dr. Greg Licameli

From silence to songs and silliness: Róisín’s cochlear implant journey

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When her daughter Róisín started preschool, Margaret Morgan sat in her car, parked just outside of the school building. “I was waiting for someone to call and say, ‘She needs you. She needs you.’”

The call never came. Róisín, now 4, is a social butterfly who loves everything about preschool — from belting out her favorite songs to dancing with her friends.

It isn’t the outcome Margaret imagined when she learned of Róisín’s severe-to-profound hearing loss at age 1.We were terrified, but after months of seeking answers to no avail, we finally felt like we were in safe hands.

“From the time Róisín was very small I knew something wasn’t quite right. She was the best baby; so smiley and so happy, but she wouldn’t always turn toward me when I walked into a room or react in any way to my voice.”

Róisín failed hearing tests at 3 months and 6 months of age in Ireland. “We were told not to worry and were referred to this person and that person. I wasn’t getting a definitive answer, and even though I was encouraged to relax, I was so anxious. I felt my concerns weren’t being addressed, and that I wasn’t being taken seriously,” recalls Margaret.

After several months of frustration, Margaret and her husband Conor decided they needed another opinion.

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Molly’s story: Care for a rare condition close to home

Curly-haired, bright-eyed Molly Leary pushes a plastic baby stroller filled with a pile of books and one baby doll. She spends a sunny afternoon on the lawn reading, singing ”Itsy Bitsy Spider” and playing her purple guitar. She sits down to read with her mom Kerry and then pops up into what feels like a never-ending spin. “Dizzy?” Kerry asks. “Nope!” says Molly with a big grin. Her love of life is infectious.

Watching this unstoppable five-year-old twirl around in circles, you’d never know that she’s quite mixed up on the inside. Molly was born with heterotaxy, a rare congenital defect that results in various organs forming on the opposite side of the body. She spent the first eight months of her life at Boston Children’s Hospital, as detailed in the below timeline.

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