When Jaylee Beth Smith was born at Helen Keller Hospital, her family did not realize that she would have anything in common with the famous namesake of her birthplace. For the first year of her life, Jaylee Beth never heard her Daddy call her name, her Mommy say “I Love You”, or her brothers sing to her. Two days after Jaylee Beth’s birth her parents were informed that she had some type of hearing loss. At six weeks old, she was sent to Children’s Hospital and was diagnosed as profoundly deaf.
After her diagnosis as profoundly deaf at six months, Jaylee Beth started into the hearing center program at Children’s Hospital to do auditory verbal therapy. Dr. Wooley at Children’s Hospital gave Jaylee Beth her first cochlear implant at 12 months of age. Jaylee Beth laughed and as she heard her first sound- her brother’s giggle. With extensive therapy and the loving support of her family, Jaylee Beth flourished and quickly began to speak. At eighteen months, she said “Mama” for the first time.
Jaylee Beth did so well with her first cochlear implant, her Mom, Pam, researched the outcome of children who were implanted in both ears. For educational and safety purposes Jaylee Beth’s parents, Pam and Jay, became Jaylee Beth’s best advocates and decided to get her second implant. Jaylee Beth received that implant when she was four years old. Her progress since the second implant has amazed her family and teachers!
Jaylee Beth is now a six year old kindergartner and the first thing she wants to do each morning is “put on her ears”. She practices her speech an hour a day. Jaylee has worked so hard to perfect her speech, most people do not realize she is deaf and hears with implants. Jaylee is truly an amazing young lady that has been an inspiration to many people.