From birth, Sarah Churman had a hearing disability. She did not realize she was not like other children because it was all she had ever known. It was only the adults around her that would know that she did not have full use of her hearing. Sarah always did everything to the best of her ability.
As she grew up and entered her teens, she started to realize that she was different. She saw she was missing out on certain things, and she saw how people around her were far more capable at certain things than she was. Sarah said that people would see her doing ‘normal’ things, but no one quite realized how much harder she had to work to make things look effortless for her.
She points out that because people could not ‘see’ that she was hearing impaired, they tended to forget and treated her like any normal child – “……… sometimes it was very hard,” she says.
Sarah comes from a very close family, and they constantly helped her without realising it. When she met, Sloan, her husband, he just slotted in just like her family. It was Sloan’s mother who contributed to the cost of the surgery from her retirement fund – $30 000,00. Nothing was too much for her beloved daughter-in-law. So when sound was first turned on for Sarah, she just started crying – she realised she could her herself breathing and swallowing – and crying – she was totally overwhelmed.
Then Ellen de Generes got to hear her story and invited her onto her show for a little surprise.
Ellen did not think a family should have to struggle and have to pay to be able to hear. She presented Sarah with a cheque for $30 000,00 for her mother-in-law from Envoy, the medical company who supplied Sarah with the first implant. They also agreed to do the next one for free. It costs $30 000,00 for each ear.
To hear her children, laugh, cry and speak for the first time was unbelievable Sarah said during her interview. And her husband snoring just made her day!
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