Fourth grader battling sudden hearing loss writes book to help others
9-year-old Demii Wright says she wants to help others by sharing her story.
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Through this pandemic, one Madison fourth grader is battling a disability that’s extremely rare in children. Despite the challenge, she has found a way to overcome and help others at the same time.
Demii Wright, 9, loves to read and write. Two activities helping get her through a life changing challenge. Last December, Demii woke up with ringing in her ear. “It kind of sounds like a bell ringing at school and it goes on and on,” she said.
Demii had experienced ear infections and issues in the past but nothing like this. After countless tests, hospital stays, and surgeries between American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison and Mayo Clinic Health System in Rochester, Minnesota, Demii was diagnosed with unilateral sensorineural hearing loss.
“They could not figure out why she was having this type of hearing loss,” said Demii’s mom, Danyelle Wright.
“I just wanted to take the pain away for her and I couldn’t,” she said. Demii lives in Madison with her mom, dad, and little sister.
Demii’s mom says this has been difficult on the family. “Typically you don’t see this type of hearing loss in children. It took us by surprise, something we together are trying to work through is why,” Mrs. Wright says.
Demii’s hearing loss is now moderate to severe, making it difficult for her to hear sounds like dogs barking or cars driving by.
She now wears a hearing aid, which she says helps but has been an adjustment. Demii’s hearing loss also affects word recognition and sometimes the way she speaks.
This took a toll on her mental health and led to bullying at school. She says some kids would make fun of her for wearing a hearing aid.
To help cope, Demii’s mom suggested she start writing down her feelings. Demii began writing on a piece of paper before she started putting here words in a diary.
“I would mostly write when i’m upset and come home from school when someone was bullying me,” she said. With her mom’s help and a publisher, Demii turned her private thoughts into a book called “Can you HEAR me now?”
“It’s about my journey through hearing loss and i’m still kind of going through it,” she says.
Demii is inspired to help other kids like her and to spread a message of compassion.
“Some people are different and have something really hard going on in their life. No matter who you are., You can be anything you want. Labels don’t define you,” Demii says.
Demii’s book is now available on Amazon and some of the proceeds will be donated to hospitals’ ENT units and the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
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