NORMAN — A twist of fate and the discovery of a cochlear implant from a Moore hospital damaged by Monday’s EF-5 tornado are part of the story of a precious 5-year-old girl.
In December, Jayde Scholl was adopted by Tulsa audiologist Jacque Scholl. Jayde, who was completely deaf, was abandoned in China and living in an orphanage. In February Jayde was the first commercial patient and one of the youngest in the world to wear the MED-EL Rondo released in April. It was activated in March.
A cochlear implant is an external device that receives the sound through a microphone, performs computer processing to the sound and delivers it to an internal device placed under the skin, said Dr. Wayne Berryhill, Jayde’s surgeon.
Jayde was scheduled to receive the implant on Monday. The week before due to a personal issue Jacque fortuitously rescheduled the surgery. Like many structures in the city, Moore Medical Center, part of the Norman Regional Health System, suffered extensive damage. Scholl’s family was safe and sound in Tulsa when the tornado struck.
Afterward, Scholl was certain they would have to delay Jayde’s surgery, which would help her hear in both ears.
Moore Medical Center nurse Shelly Raper said hospital staff knew where the implant was being stored, in a locked storage room with no windows. During a hospital staff meeting, she told an administrator about the situation with the implant. A hospital employee went to the hospital and recovered the $25,000-$30,000 implant.
Then earlier this week, Dr. Berryhill informed Jayde’s family the device had been found.
“The staff wanted something good to happen this week,” Scholl said. “They wanted Jayde’s journey to keep moving forward. An amazing community of folks have helped make this happen in the midst of so much tragedy.”
Friday morning Jacque, Jayde and her big brother Nicholas, 11, arrived at Norman Regional’s Healthplex Medical Center, 3300 Healthplex Pkwy. Dr. Wayne Berryhill performed Jayde’s surgery. She arrived wearing clothing items in her favorite color — pink — and holding an undersized basketball.
“It’s just amazing that we can make this happen, from Monday to Friday,” Dr. Berryhill said.
Before she was prepped for surgery, Jayde was given a special box with various items children like. She investigated the implant, which was still in its box, while her nurse spoke to reporters.
Then she headed to the operating room, continuing her journey to be able to hear in both ears for the first time.
During Friday’s roughly two-hour surgery, the internal part of the implant was connected to the inner ear so the inner ear nerve can be stimulated, Dr. Berryhill said.