Australian mom shares emotional struggle behind adorable photo: ‘I cried all week after we found out’

With a wide grin on her face, eight month old Savannah stretched out her arms and wrapped her tightly in her new doll.

As the baby chuckles, it’s clear to Perth mom Amy that her daughter has found her new favorite toy – and more.

The seemingly ordinary doll had blonde hair and a pure white ribbon on her head.

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But it also has other special features.

Sitting behind the doll’s right ear is a hearing aid – just like Savy’s.

A happy Amy says the quirky toy allows her little daughter to be herself without regrets.

Savannah immediately fell in love with her new doll. Credit: Instagram/ the_house_of_savy

“Savy is very special and I don’t want him to worry about feeling different,” Amy . said 7Live.

“It’s very important for him to feel included.”

With Savy’s first birthday next month, Dean and Amy’s parents can’t believe how far their daughter has come.

After a normal pregnancy, Savannah decided to come almost two weeks early.

A week in the nursery of special care gives newborns everything clear to finally come home to mom and dad.

However, Savy soon began to show signs of hearing loss.

Savannah has 80 percent hearing loss in her right ear. Credit: Instagram/ the_house_of_savy

“He failed the newborn hearing test twice when he was seven days old but the nurse told us it was probably fluid that had accumulated from birth and nothing to worry about,” Amy said.

“And if there’s a really loud bang or we drop something in the house, he’ll turn his head, so I’m not really worried.

“But when he was eight weeks old, they told us he had bad hearing loss in his right ear.”

The mother at first did not know the extent of her daughter’s hearing loss and immediately began to think worse.

“I think I cried all week after we found out,” she said.

“I kept thinking, ‘Can she (Savannah) hear my voice?’.”

Hearing disorders

Two weeks after the initial tests, the family was referred to Hearing Australia for a formal diagnosis.

They were told that Savy had an 80 percent loss in his right ear and a 10 percent chance of hearing loss in his left ear.

Specialists also cannot tell parents if their hearing may deteriorate further.

He will also most likely need a hearing aid for the rest of his life.

At home, Amy begins to process what this means for her little girl and begins joining online hearing-impaired communities for advice.

Connecting with other parents, the mother begins to understand more about how to care for Savy’s unique needs.

Savannah now has a doll with a matching hearing aid behind her right ear. Credit: Instagram/ the_house_of_savy

Then when her little girl was three months old she was ready to have her hearing aid fitted.

At the appointment, Amy bounced her daughter on her knee as doctors wrapped the device around the baby’s right ear and turned it on.

At first, he wasn’t too sure about the foreign object stuck to his head.

But at home, when Amy called her name across the room, Savy turned to his mother.

Amy’s mother wants to promote inclusiveness of hearing loss. Credit: Instagram/ the_house_of_savy

“He never knew where the voices were coming from,” said Amy.

“And now when he plays with toys that make sounds, he has a big smile on his face.”

Savy was now starting to match animal sounds to animal sounds, as he was hearing for the first time.

“We would show bananas and make ‘mmm’ sounds and then monkeys and make monkey sounds,” said the mother.

Participation

Savy is still getting used to the device, but Amy wants to make sure she grows up knowing that having a hearing aid doesn’t make it any less.

That’s when he found Miniland Dolls Australia – a small Australian owned business that makes custom dolls to look like their owners.

Savannah can now hear voices and is learning to use her hearing aid fully. Credit: Instagram/ the_house_of_savy

With a special doll that has a hearing aid like hers, Savy is in love with the toy – and the pair are inseparable.

β€œIt’s great to start seeing dolls that are so inclusive – like Barbie who has come up with a range of products with wheelchairs,” says Amy.

“Now there are actors in Hollywood promoting their disability too, which is great for Savannah to see.”

Amy shares Savy’s journey with her hearing aid on Instagram, connecting and supporting others with hearing loss, and promoting inclusivity across all abilities.

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