JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 3-year-old girl had struggled since birth to fully hear the world around her.
Now, as Mikayla Robinson prepares to turn 4 years old in May, she celebrated on Thursday with the gift of state-of-the-art hearing aids and lifetime care.
Mikayla had no idea that the technology wrapped up inside the little hearing aids was about to change her life.
Within seconds of turning them on, Mikayla already noticed different sounds, such as the specialists speaking softly on the phone nearby.
Then, for the first time, Mikayla heard her mother's voice clearly.
"Don't be afraid. It's OK," her mother, Sjade Robinson, told her daughter.
Robinson said she first knew something was wrong about a year and a half ago, when Mikayla would get frustrated because no one could understand her.
"As time moved, on I noticed that she continued to not respond and her speech was a little delayed," Robinson said.
Thanks to help from the nonprofit Miracle Ear Foundation, in an instant, Mikayla's love of music was reborn when her mother pulled up a tune from the Disney movie "Moana" on her phone.
The hearing aids are molded to the shape of the child's ears, and they'll need to be checked at least 10 to 12 times a year -- a small sacrifice for the start a new relationship between the mother and daughter.
The specialists there on Thursday told News4Jax that the Miracle Ear Foundation has helped more than 9,000 people nationwide, giving them more than 16,000 hearing aids.