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03/30/2010 - Rhys et al... Thank you.

First, let me say how overwhelmed we are by the tons of well wishes we got from so many people. Every message went directly to our hearts. We thank you so much for your love and support.

A lot of the feedback from the People magazine piece was just simple good wishes, but there was a lot of fascinating, heart-felt, informed discussion about the different paths for deaf and hard of hearing people. As you can imagine (although maybe not until you are touched by something like this) the views are many and varied.

We heard from people who have loved ones, children, siblings, fathers, mothers, with hearing loss and heard their stories. Every story is enlightening and again we are so grateful to those who have shared.

As the spectrum of hearing loss is great, so too are the points of view on how to treat it. There are some who say that we should do nothing as far as hearing aids or implants with Rhys. The theory being he is perfect the way he is, God meant him to be that way and he is blessed to be that way. I can totally appreciate that choice. I believe that this is a gift. That his hearing loss will lead him down a path of great things. He will have a special perspective in life that he would never have if he was a fully hearing person. I can not wait to watch that perspective grow and learn from his life.

Some have said that we should wait until Rhys is old enough to chose for himself, whether or not he wants the coclear implant. That operation is irreversable, so I can appreciate that arguement as well.

We do not know where he stands as far as being a candidate for cochear implants. It will take sometime. He is not deaf. He has alot of usable hearing and so he could be able to hear enough with "regular" hearing aids. I do know that all the people and families we have talked to have raved about the coclear implants and consider them a miracle. But like I said there are so many different paths and every person with hearing loss is different. One thing is for certain, the more information the better. My wife and I were pouring over the responses to the article on People.com and your feedback will serve us well. We do not know what our decision will be right now. We are learning more everyday. We are strong and we are blessed and everyday is a gift, but there are some tough, frustrating moments. We will forever consider your feedback as a treasure trove to open whenever we need a little lift. I cant wait for when People Magazine does a 10 year check-in with Rhys and he and Griffin can pick their own outfits! What will they wear??

All our love,

The McIntyres

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