Monday, July 16, 2012

15 Years Later...Jordan's Journey Led to Dr. Niparko at Hopkins

Two months ago I participated in the Family Centered Early Intervention Congress in Bad Ischl, Austria, where after 15 years of Jordan's journey in Italy, I had the fortune of meeting Dr. John Niparko. We were part of the same International Consensus Meeting on Family Centered Intervention. Actually, I sat next to him.
Who would have ever thought that the girl from Baltimore would meet the world famous CI surgeon of Hopkins at a Congress in Austria?
I grilled him with questions during that Congress, we talked about bilateral cis, an Italian situation, how early he implants, how long before totally implantables would become available and hair cell research so that I could take the information back to my Italian forum. He calmly answered all of my questions despite his jetlag and was absolutely the nicest person to have waited fifteen years to meet.

Okay, here's the deal.
I have created a network in Italy. I place families in contact with Italian surgeons on a regular basis. They ask me for help and I am so happy to be in a position to help them.
Dr. Niparko gave me his email address during the meeting and told me if I had any questions that he would be happy to answer them, but that I might have to wait for a response due to his busy schedule.

I arrived in Baltimore three weeks ago.
Jordan's journey has been exclusively Italian. We have always trusted our doctors in Pisa, but I had Niparko's email address burning a hole in my wallet.
What would you have done as a good American mom living in Italy with a world famous CI surgeon twenty minutes from your house?
My son's hearing is the most important thing. We just upgraded to a CP810 and he seemed to be talking louder than usual.
I sent the email.
Niparko responded.

We just spent the day getting mapped and taking a tour of The Listening Center.

Dr. Andrea Marlowe mapped Jordan.

She said his Italian mapping was very good and she just tweaked a couple of things that have improved Jordan's quality of hearing. She talked us through the entire process; Jordan did the Ling sounds without missing one and repeated some words in English without any problems.
An amazing experience after having lived every moment prior in Italian.
My mom came with us and after 15 years, she was finally able to ask questions to a Doctor (THE Doctor) who spoke English.

Dr. Niparko shook hands with Jordan, showed us around the Listening Center, answered my Mom's questions and told Sofia she was beautiful. He handed me the Listening Center information packet that I'm going to study and I showed him the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle yahoo support group;-)...been waiting four years to be able to do that.

I'm still kind of emotional about the whole thing.
You never know the places you'll go. You just always want the best for your child.
I am thankful for Italy, and I am thankful for Niparko.
I am blessed.


Alise Robinson said...

You are amazing. Your determination, love and will led you to that moment. YOU did it! Congrats. Take it all in and keep on going! Your efforts will continue to make a difference in your children's lives, the lives of other children and parents in need and it will continue to surprise you. I knew you were a star from the moment we met! Shine on!

Debbi said...

Well, that made me boo hoo. Awesome story Jodi. I love the photo of your family and Dr. Niparko!!!

Paula Rosenthal said...

Awesome! Is he still talking loudly? How many programs does he have or use? Sounds like you're making this the best stateside trip ever! Xoxo

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