A silenced world

Mysterious loss of hearing plagues sophomore


Madeline Parish

Photo illustration

Story by Jhovany Perez, staff writer

“Hello?” her mother questioned, trying to get her attention. No response.

“Hello?” her mother said a little louder. No response.

“Hello!” her mother barked, growing frustrated.

Silence fell in the room.

Annoyed with her daughter for ignoring her, she stormed up and demanded to know why she wouldn’t respond.

But the answer proved devastating.

“I didn’t hear you,” she replied.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Gordon found out this fall that she is losing her hearing in her right ear. After visiting several doctors, the answer as to why her hearing has abandoned her remains a vague mystery. Doctors have told her and her parents that there is no reason behind her hearing loss.

“We found out when my mom or anyone else would be talking to me,” Gordon said. “I wouldn’t even know they were talking.”

Growing up, Gordon didn’t really notice the problem, but it gradually begin to grow. What seemed to be minor ear infection soon turned into an unexplained loss of hearing. It slowly became a problem at school, and affected her ability to participate in the classroom.

“When it was worse, I needed to sit in the front of classes,” Gordon said. “Or even move seats with someone just to be able to hear the teacher.”

Gordon began to feel lost and alone. Her hearing problem began to isolate her from the world she used to feel comfortable in, and she was constantly faced with new limitations.  

“I was confused and didn’t understand why or how I was having hearing problems,” Gordon said. “I made the mistake to let it define me for a while.”

While Gordon could not see past this flaw in herself, her friends never left her side and acted as her support system.

“My friends are very sympathetic and really supportive of my situation,” Gordon said. “Especially my best friend [sophomore] Rachel Johnson.”

Rachel Johnson has remained a loyal friend through it all and has been helping Gordon along the way. Gordon has no hearing aids; she reads lips in order to completely hear what people are saying.

“She’s been the same person she has always been,” Johnson said. “But if she needs me to speak up, I speak up. If she just needs me to look at her to speak, I look at her to speak. I just do what I can do to help her”

Gordon is keeping a positive outlook even though she has new problem to deal with.

“I plan to not let my ‘problem’ affect me negatively. I want to push past it and do just as good, or better, in whatever I do,” Gordon said. “I won’t let it be what keeps me from being me.”