Austin Manning is a happy little boy. His smiles bring happiness to his older brother, Logan, and his parents, David and Michelle Manning. On Nov. 2, 2012, Austin will undergo a surgery that will allow him to hear his family tell him how much they love him.
Austin entered the world five weeks before his due date in October of 2011. He spent five days in the NICU, during which he received a routine hearing test. After the initial test they began to realize he had hearing problems. He underwent more hearing tests and was diagnosed with profound hearing loss. Hearing aids have been a part of Austin since he was one month old; however, they give little sound to the outside world. After much research and consideration, the Mannings have determined bilateral cochlear implants are his best option.
A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that provides hearing sensation to candidates like Austin who are either profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. This complex device essentially has two main aspects. Part of the implant is worn on the outside; this includes the microphone, sound processor and transmitter system. This is attached directly into the area of the ear that is stimulated with sound. This internally implanted device includes the receiver and electrode system and receives signals from the external system and sends electrical currents to the inner ear. Cochlear implants differ from hearing aids in the fact they bypass the damaged part of the ear. Hearing through a cochlear implant is different than natural hearing and it doesn’t come automatic. With the device and dedication from Austin’s family and doctors, he is expected to have success.
Unfortunately, the implants cost $80,000 dollars each, and Austin needs one in each ear to receive the greatest benefit. The Manning’s insurance will only cover $40,000 of the $160,000 total.
Several different fundraisers are planned to help offset the cost of the surgery. Anita Kimber, family friend, experienced hearing loss herself so she wants to provide Austin with every opportunity he can have. Anita said, “I would not want for anyone to miss out on hearing music, birds singing, water falling, the words of a loved one, even the wind blowing if there was a way to provide the blessing of hearing.” Kimber is not alone, many others have volunteered to help. Some are close family friends and some have no connections, only a desire to help.
A fun weekend of scrapbooking and stamping is planned for Friday, September 21, 2012 and Saturday 22, 2012. The event will run from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn. Tools and stamps will be available to use from Stampin’ Up and Creative Memories and demonstrations will be held during the event. A raffle will also be held. To reserve your spot contact Diane Chappell at 801-829-3892 or 801-791-3275.
On Sept. 29, a yard sale will be held on the corner of State Street and 200 West near the Walker Mortuary. Donations for the sale can be given to Lory Birt, Debby Wilkinson, or Denise Hansen by September 27. Several employees at the courthouse created a quilt to help the Mannings. The beautiful quilt is currently on display at the county offices and will be raffled at a later date. For more information please call Gwen Rich 801-845-7000.
Tara Hammer is collecting old lawn mowers, ATVs and car batteries to recycle. The batteries can be donated at the fundraiser or can be given to Tara in advance. Call 801-845-5252 for drop off or pick up details.
The Mannings are planning a carnival and auction. The event is tentatively set for October 26-27. Call Dave Manning 801-829-3070 for more details. Auction items can be given to Anita Kimber 801-845-9155.
After hearing the Mannings’ story, Kera Birkeland wanted to help with the cause. She is planning a children’s bike race. The details are still being worked out so watch for more information on this fun event. Donations are also welcome and can be made in Austin Manning’s name at 1st Bank in Morgan and in Mountain Green, as well as any Wells Fargo branch.
For more information on Austin and fundraising efforts visit audibleearsforaustin.blogspot.com or http://www.facebook.com/AudibleEarsForAustin.