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Northeast Ohio baby one of youngest in Cleveland Clinic history to undergo hearing procedure

By Mike Holden

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    HUDSON, Ohio (WEWS) — A Northeast Ohio family is celebrating what they are calling a “true miracle.”

Their baby boy was born with severe hearing loss, virtually deaf.

Little Corbin Grey is now one of the youngest patients in Cleveland Clinic Children’s history to undergo a procedure for a bilateral cochlear implant.

He can hear, interact and speak. The procedure was positively life-altering.

The family credits the research, technology and doctors at Cleveland Clinic Children’s for his success.

Corbin, 2, loves playing with each and every toy and stuffed animal he comes into contact with.

And naturally sharing them with anyone he meets.

“Is that the piggy? Yeah! Thank you.”

He keeps busy by jumping in the bounce house with his big brother Bennett.

But Makaela and Tony Lapso say they worried Corbin would never be able to speak or hear anything around him.

“I just could kind of tell like something was going on, and in my heart, just mom gut just kicked in,” Makaela Lapso said.

On March 12 of 2021, their brown-eyed baby boy came into the world.

But something was off.

He failed his newborn hearing screening before leaving the hospital.

Testing determined he had something called bilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss.

“To be honest, that stole a lot of joy those first few weeks waiting for all the test results, waiting to figure out what was going on,” Lapso said.

The Lapso’s asked themselves how and why something like this could happen.

Doctors discovered both she and her husband carry a recessive gene they passed on to Corbin.

It was shocking, and everything came rushing to them at once.

“Tried to stay present in the moment with him but ya know, you have all these emotions and it was a real challenge,” Lapso said.

They came to Cleveland Clinic Children’s for help.

Dr. Samantha Anne suggested at 5 weeks old Corbin wear hearing aids.

It was a challenge to keep on a small baby.

Doctors ultimately went a new route and at seven months they suggested he undergo cochlear implant surgery.

Corbin would become one of the youngest patients in history to receive it at the Cleveland Clinic.

“With the implant, stimulate the electrode, stimulating the nerve itself, it brings their hearing almost to normal, if not normal. And that’s exactly what happened with Corbin. His hearing was great. Immediately after implantation,” Anne said.

The FDA suggests waiting until nine months of age, but Anne and the team say the success rate is just as high.

The baby typically adapts quicker to the changes.

“We found there’s no increased risk when they’re younger, as long as it’s done in the right hands and in the right expertise,” Anne said.

It became a pivotal moment for Corbin and his family.

It was near instant success.

The Lapsos are expecting a third baby boy soon and cherishing each and every moment.

They encourage all parents to never give up.

“We’re all gonna have challenges, we’re all gonna have painful moments in our lives, but it’s the action you take afterward,” Lapso said.

Corbin goes for checkups and completes therapy regularly.

The Lapso’s say support is so critical in this journey.

Makaela Lapso started the Heart to Heart CLE Facebook page.

Parents can talk, share their stories and discuss resources for hearing loss and help others navigate the journey.

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