A video clip of a five-year-old girl is going viral because of her adorable reaction to receiving a doll that looks just like her, hearing aids and all.
When 5-year-old Abbi Keating was about 7 months old, her mother, Amy Keating, noticed she stopped eating.
“Once she stopped feeding, I started getting very worried,” Keating told the Newcastle Herald. “And she became lethargic to the point where you couldn’t wake her, and her temperature skyrocketed. It happened over 48 hours and progressed really quickly. I knew something was wrong.”
Abbi was diagnosed with an ear infection and sent home with medication; however, Abbi didn’t appear to get any better. Keating returned to the hospital with her daughter and Abbi was admitted.
When Abbi was only a baby she became extremely sick.
After five days Abbi was discharged, but after a follow-up appointment with her doctor she was readmitted to the hospital.
“By the second time she was admitted she was completely limp,” Keating said. “She couldn’t raise her hand, she had no motor control. She had completely regressed to a newborn baby or worse.”
Again she was sent home with six months of antibiotics and doctors suggested she go through several months of physical therapy. It was during this time that Keating noticed her daughter was making the usual noises you’d expect a child her age to make.
“All that baby babbling she had been doing – it just completely stopped,” she said.
During her recovery Keating discovered her daughter wasn’t making noises like she used to.
Keating searched for an explanation, but was assured Abbi was fine. Finally, she took her baby to a speech pathologist and several hearing tests later it was confirmed that Abbi had “moderate to severe hearing loss.”
Abbi was soon fitted with hearing aids and eventually underwent surgery for a cochlear implant.
The little girl struggled to get used to her hearing devices and Keating told Caters News that she was “desperate to buy Abbi a toy that had them too.” Keating said that Abbi would often take a pen and draw a hearing device on one of her many dolls.
Although Abbi’s hearing devices allowed her to hear, she wasn’t always a fan of them.
Keating made it her mission to find a doll with hearing devices and when, thanks to a therapist, she finally discovered a customizable doll, she knew she had to buy it for her daughter.
She said she also knew she needed to film the moment Abbi received it.
Keating ordered the dolls for Abbi and filmed her reaction upon receiving them.
“Abbi had wanted a doll that looked like her for ages and I was thrilled when only two weeks after ordering it we could collect it,” Keating told Caters News about the dolls with the removable cochlear implant and hearing aid.
After receiving both dolls, the mother and daughter decided to donate one of the dolls to Abbi’s school where it’s used to teach students about hearing loss.
“It’s a lot easier explaining Abbi’s condition through using the dolls as we can take off her cochlear implant and reattach it so show the kids how it works,” Keating said.
Abbi donated one of her dolls to her school so her classmates could learn about her hearing devices.
In a post on Facebook, Keating wrote that two years after Abbi’s cochlear implant was turned on both she and Abbi still struggle with the decision that she said is “nothing like the image portrayed by the Internet.”
Although there are days she doubts herself and Abbi doesn’t want to wear her cochlear implant and only wants to sign, she’s proud of how far her little girl has come.