KXAN – NBC Affiliate – Austin, Texas

Austin Man Hears for First Time in Decades

The Doctors


A Mother Hears Her Son’s Voice
February 12, 2013

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Access Hollywood


Perfect Valentine’s Day Chocolate Recipes

February 11, 2013

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Deaf Sisters Hear for the First Time

December 7, 2012

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Adopted 8-year-old’s hear their parents voice for the first time

Dec 05, 2012

Two Sand Springs sisters heard their parents voice for the first time on Wednesday afternoon.

The 8-year-olds. Kate and Ruby Shasteen were both deaf but the world of sound opened up to them when their cochlear implants were activated at The Sholl Center in Tulsa.

The monumental day tops of a whirlwind year for the Shasteen family.

“It’s been a year full of transitions for all of us,” said Al Shasteen. Al and his wife, Chris, said they met the girls at an orphanage in Ethiopia.

“We were in Ethiopia adopting our son Will,” said Chris.

Kate and Ruby stole their hearts. The Shasteens said when they met the girls they knew they wanted to adopt them into their family of seven.

“We believe that each and every one of those children was meant to be part of our family,” said Chris.
Kate and Ruby aren’t biological sisters but they share a profound bond.

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Tulsa Girls Hear For The First Time

Dec 05, 2012

Most of us take it for granted, but today, two little Tulsa girls were able to hear for the very first time. Up until today, 7 year old Ruby and her sister Kate lived a life primarily in silence, able to communicate only through sign language.

A year ago, Al and Chris Shasteen brought them to Tulsa from an orphanage in Ethiopia. “Neither girl had developed speech at all it’s safe to assume,” says mother Chris. “And Ruby’s hearing loss was profound and Kate’s is severe to profound.”

A couple weeks ago, cochlear implants were put in Ruby and Kate’s ears in Oklahoma City. And today those small devices were activated for the first time at the Scholl Center in Tulsa. Here’s the interaction between Ruby and her mother when that happened:

Chris: “Can you hear me? Can you? What’s my name?”

Ruby: “Mama.”

Chris: “Can you hear me?”

Ruby: (nods yes)

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Adopted Sand Springs Sisters Hear For The First Time

Dec 05, 2012

TULSA, Oklahoma – Two Sand Springs sisters heard their mother’s voice for the first time Wednesday.
Ruby and Kate Shasteen have made a remarkable journey over the past year.

It started in an Ethiopian orphanage and school for the deaf and the latest chapter is right here in Tulsa, as the girls are now hearing for the first time.

Ruby and Kate are not biological sisters, but they share a common bond: both are profoundly deaf.

Last year, at this time, they were facing a difficult life in their home country of Ethiopia. They had no family and because of their deafness, their future there was bleak.

But then Chris and Al Shasteen made the 8-year-olds a part of their Sand Springs family.

“I can’t believe we’re here, I can’t believe we’re at this point we’ve worked for,” Chris said.

Wednesday marked the next step in the girl’s amazing journey.

They got their cochlear implants activated and were able to hear their parents’ voices for the first time.

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Eight-year-old girls hear for first time

December 5, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY – From an orphanage in Ethiopia to Sand Springs, Okla., two 8-year-old girls faced another life-altering change Wednesday.

They heard words for the first time.

“Can you hear mamma?”

That’s the first sentence Ruby Shasteen heard from her mother, Chris Shasteen.

“Her eyes were just full of tears and she’s just looking around trying to figure out, ‘Where’s this coming from?,’” Chris Shasteen said.

It was an amazing moment to witness.

Ruby’s 8-year-old sister, Kate, signed in excitement knowing she was next in line to hear.

The two conquered their first step toward hearing two weeks ago at the Community Hospital in Oklahoma City.

That’s where they got the Cochlear implant.

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Fox News

Cochlear implants: Celebrating 30 years of hearing restoration in deaf patients

November 06, 2012

In 1987, at the age of 22 months, Caitlin Parton became very ill with meningitis and ultimately lost her hearing.

Her parents, Melody James-Parton and Steve Parton, grieved over their daughter’s hearing loss as if it were their own. As freelance artists, they figured all the things they loved and took for granted – like music, speech and the written word – would be lost upon Caitlin.

“Our whole world turned upside down,” James-Parton, who lives in New York City, told FoxNews.com. “It was devastating for new, young parents.”

But, when a doctor suggested Caitlin undergo a relatively new procedure known as the cochlear implant, the Partons seized the opportunity.
“We wanted to keep her in the same culture as our family,” James-Parton said. “It made sense to us [as] people who loved the spoken word and music.”

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Connecticut Post

Stratford woman hears a whole new world

October 20, 2012

STRATFORD — Stepping into the passenger seat of her car after a monumental doctor visit, Maureen Vonick felt like a child, or maybe a dog, about to go for a ride. Everything was brand new.

She heard an unfamiliar sound as her husband turned the car out of the parking lot at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Then it disappeared.

“What’s that noise?” she asked with the naïvete of an inlander who discovers the ocean’s roar for the first time.
Her husband was puzzled.

“What noise?”

A few minutes later, it returned. A steady, rhythmic tick. The noise came and went.

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