Santa Comes Early For 8-Year-Old With Hearing Loss

By Keaton Fox
|  Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013  |  Updated 1:00 PM CDT
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Jeremy Lopez needed hearing aids, but his insurance wouldn't pay. A generous donor stepped in to help.

Keaton Fox, NBC 5

Jeremy Lopez needed hearing aids, but his insurance wouldn't pay. A generous donor stepped in to help.

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Like many 8-year-olds, Jeremy Lopez loves going outside and riding on his scooter.

But, lately, he's been stuck inside playing video games -- not allowed outside. He's not grounded, in fact, he hasn't been in any trouble at all, he says --- just in case Santa's listening. 

Unfortunately, Jeremy has hearing loss that keeps him from hearing the things we hear everyday, like the TV or oncoming traffic.

"It's so hard as a parent having to limit his playtime," said Jeremy's mother, Elizabeth.

His studies at school were suffering as well because Jeremy couldn't understand what was being taught.

"Imagine being submerged underwater and someone carrying on a conversation with you," Elizabeth said. "There's going to be a lot of information that you're not going to be able to understand."

So for Christmas, instead of a new scooter or the latest video game, all Jeremy wanted was a pair of hearing aids all his own. But the Lopez' insurance wouldn't pay for the devices.

That's where Dr. Naikai Butler comes in. Her clinic received a donation that allowed them to help families like the Lopez.

"These years from birth to about 8, children are developing language. They're learning how to speak, they're learning about life, from listening," Butler said.

Jeremy may not like all the listening he can do now -- like when his mom tells him to clean his room -- but he says he's grateful for the chance.

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