Abbi Keating, a 5-year-old from South Wales, Australia, recently got the surprise of her life.
At age 2, her life was forever changed when she suddenly lost her ability to hear and stopped speaking. Her mother, Amy, was determined to help her daughter. After getting fitted for hearing aids, Abbi was eventually given cochlear implants. The electronic device replaces the hearing function in her ear. Soon after, she began to speak again.
The implants are visible from the outside, so Abbi looks a bit different than her peers. Abbi desperately wanted a doll that looked like her. She would spend hours drawing dolls that had cochlear implants or hearing aids just like her.
“After Abbi’s hearing aid and cochlear implant were fitted, I was desperate to buy Abbi a toy that had them, too,” Amy said. “When I found an affordable one online, I knew it would be too adorable not to film the moment on camera.”
Amy bought Abbi one hard baby doll and one soft cuddly doll. In pure excitement and joy, Abbi let out a guttural scream of excitement. Clearly, Mommy had done right by her.
The dolls were so helpful in teaching her classmates about deafness, in fact, that they donated the baby doll to the school.
“It’s a lot easier explaining Abbi’s condition through using the dolls, as we can take off her cochlear implant and reattach it to show the kids how it works,” Amy said.
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