ETX boy has surgery to help him hear

ETX boy has surgery to help him hear
Jackson Foster with his parents.
Jackson Foster with his parents.

DALLAS, TX (KSLA) - Earlier this year we told you about a Bowie County family wanting to have a special birthday for their soon-to-be two-year-old son.

You may recall, this child is deaf, and though the family's plan to sing "Happy Birthday" to him this year will not take place, they are one step closer to their goal for birthdays to come.

As Jackson Foster plays in his hospital bed, his family anxiously waits for doctors to roll him in for surgery.

"Nervous, very nervous," said Summer Foster, his mother.

Wednesday, Jackson was in Children's Medical Center in Dallas where doctors are hoping to give the youngster the ability to hear.

"A lot of children this age, when they undergo cochlear implants, will develop speech," said Dr. Walter Kutz, a surgeon at CMC. "And many of them will mainstream into school and live a quite successful life in communicating."

The Foster family has called on Kutz to perform an ear implant surgery on their child.

"It is a small incision behind the ear, we put a cochlear implant receiver behind the ear under the skin and remove the bone from behind the ear and place the implant into the cochlear," Kutz said.

Jackson will turn 2 in August. He was born deaf and Wednesday was a milestone for his family.

"It has been a long road already and we got a longer road to go," said Jackson's dad Wayne Foster. "We are going to keep this ship going and I am going to be the captain to make sure it is going."

The surgery usually takes three-to-four hours, Kutz said.

The Fosters won't know if the surgery was successful until Aug. 25. It is then, that doctors will activate the cochlear.

"The prognosis is very good," Kutz said. "They can be unpredictable and rarely would a child not benefit."

While they wait, the Fosters said they are not alone in their journey. They have a Facebook page full of supporters.

"At Jackson's Journey he got almost 400 likes right now," Wayne said. "Right now everybody is keeping up with little man, seeing how everything is going."

After the procedure, doctors said the surgery went very well.

The Fosters have started a support group for others in the ArkLaTex who are dealing with similar problems. You can find the group on Facebook at "Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children from Texarkana and the Surrounding Areas."

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