OAKMONT (KDKA) — Fifth grade teacher Krista Simon wears a microphone, not to amplify her voice, but to communicate directly with one of her students at Tenth Street Elementary School.
She connects with 10-year-old Taylor Billet, who wears Cochlear implants.
“She’s just part of the class, like anybody else,” says Simon.
“I can actually do things that other kids do,” Taylor says. “Like play sports, and hearing around the classroom.”
Taylor was just 14-months-old when she contracted bacterial meningitis.
“Which can actually cause a couple of different things, losing a limb, going blind, becoming deaf,” Taylor says.
Pam Billet says her daughter became the very first patient at Children’s Hospital to receive bilateral implants in a single surgery.
“Within Taylor’s implants, there are 24 electrodes in each ear, and they are inserted into the cochlea,” her mother says.
That makes it possible to hear a variety of sounds.
Deaf and hearing impaired teacher Maria Toney is a liaison with Taylor’s teachers.
Meanwhile, the Oakmont girl already has her future mapped out.
“Something I would like to be when I grow up is probably something to do with words, like maybe an author, maybe a reporter,” Taylor says.
She’s on her way.