Heather Whiteestone Essay

Submitted By uesrnmae
Words: 461
Pages: 2

Heather Whitestone Heather was born in Alabama on February 24, 1973. She lost her hearing at the age of eighteen months when she was rushed to the hospital with a dangerously high fever, the cause of which was later diagnosed as the Haemophilus influenza virus. According to the doctors, she was only hours from death when they administered two powerful antibiotics that reduced her fever and saved her life. With the doctors assurances, Heather's relieved family took her home believing that their once energetic toddler would be back to normal within a few weeks. After a few months, it became painfully obvious that there was a problem when Heather's mother accidentally dropped a pile of pans on the kitchen floor and Heather, who was playing nearby, did not even flinch. At the Children's Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, Heather tested as “profoundly deaf” with no hearing in either ear. Her condition was concluded to be the result of the virus, the antibiotics or a combination of both.
Heather decided to get a cochlear implant because she wanted to hear her family’s voices, make further strides in achieving her goals and experience the hearing world. With the implant, she plans to help raise awareness among the hearing-impaired community about the opportunities available for improving speech and language. In the 1995 Miss America pageant, Heather was Miss Alabama, and was crowned Miss America. During her one-year reign as Miss America, Heather devoted her time to working with deaf children. She also focused on getting the word out to all children (both deaf and hearing) that positive thinking is very powerful and helps lead to success. Heather also showed much dedication to the Deaf Community. Serving on the executive board for the President's Committee on