The surgeries were successfully performed a year apart at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “After Makenzie had the implants it was like the light turned on,” Brian said. “She really picked up on speech and became engaged in things at the center because she received constant communication enrichment.”
Fayette County Public Schools has determined Mackenzie no longer qualifies for any special services, a remarkable achievement. “I loved the Lexington Hearing & Speech Center. I can hear and talk. I’m excited about my new school,” said Makenzie, in answer to a reporter’s question.
The Tomlinsons second child – a son named Ian, 2 – was born with mild hearing loss and utilizes light-level hearing aids to help create speech. When Ian gets older, he probably won’t need them unless he chooses to, thanks to the services at LHSC.
As the center’s director, Ansley isn’t just an administrator functioning apart from the trials of the center’s hearing impaired children. Her son has hearing loss and began coming to the center at two months of age.
“The speech pathologist he had before worried about his development and cognitive abilities,” Ansley said. “Then we came here and it was a different tune. There’s always hope here. No matter what your child’s communication or hearing delay, they’ll not be defined by that as they get older.”
Ansley’s son is now a straight-A middle school student. Last summer, he played basketball and all season his coach never realized the boy wore hearing aids.
Ansley and Tomlinson want more people to know about Lexington Hearing & Speech Center so children will benefit. “We’re known as the best kept secret in Kentucky and don’t need to be. Families out there with speech and language needs or who have questions should know we’re here for them,” Ansley concluded.
A LHSC fundraiser, Cocktails and Casino, is scheduled for Nov. 10. “We’re turning our school into an upscale Vegas-style cocktail party with blackjack tables and casino-style gambling, for fun,” Ansley said. “We’ll have a separate poker tournament with an entry fee. People have an opportunity to win great prizes.”
For more information on the school or the November fundraiser, visit www.lhscky.org.