“She grabs the Ponto first thing in the morning, and wears it until she falls asleep at night. Hands down, Ponto is the way to go.”

Jillian Shelton and her family adopted their daughter Hazel when she was 18 months old. Wanting their daughter who was born with bilateral microtia and sensorineural hearing loss resulting in a moderate mixed hearing loss to have the best hearing care possible, they began exploring bone anchored hearing systems as a possible solution.

Name: Hazel Shelton
Indication: Bilateral microtia, moderate mixed hearing

When Jillian and her family adopted Hazel, they were told she was completely deaf. However, after getting a proper diagnosis she started using hearing devices and aids. With the help of her family and professionals, she started speaking and singing. However, Hazel and her family experienced consistent issues with feedback and poor sound quality, and because Hazel’s audiologist did not know about the Oticon Medical Ponto, their choices were limited. 

Advocating for better care

Wanting the best hearing possible, Hazel’s mother Jillian began educating herself on other options. She began speaking to other bone anchored hearing system users online and in a number of Facebook groups which is where she learned about the Ponto 3 SuperPower. 

I watched a video of a daughter laying in her mother’s arms wearing the Ponto and there was no feedback. I started to look in the Facebook groups and hands down, Ponto won.

After traveling to the Earicles Los Angeles Microtia Atresia conference across the country and meeting with audiologists and experts, she was convinced the Ponto device was something her daughter needed to experience and “kindly demanded” an upgrade for her daughter. Hazel is now using the Ponto 3 SuperPower on a softband.

After one day - a child’s life is changed

The improvements in Hazel’s hearing and communication skills were immediate as demonstrated in the video above. Even the simplest things such as sitting in carseat, to hugging her mother have improved because the acoustical feedback she experienced before is gone.

“My daughters sentences have exploded. Not just one or two words but sentences and she’s only had them on for two weeks! The feedback is not there - when she gives me a hug, sits in her carseat, or wears her hair down.”

Advice to parents

For other parents who are struggling to find the best hearing device for their child or are dissatisfied with their current device, Jillian reminds people that they have options. 

“Research those (Facebook and other groups, talk to those who have been on this journey) boards. Don’t allow yourself to be saddled with one device because your audiologist doesn’t want to try something different. Fight for your children’s rights. Make sure you know you have options.”