Oklahoma tornadoes: Girl's cochlear implant found OK after storm

On May 20, Jayde, 5, Dr. Jacqueline Scholl's adopted child from China, was expected to have her second cochlear implant surgery done May 20 at Moore Medical Center — the same day a killer tornado tore into the hospital and city.
BY KYLE SCHWAB kschwab@opubco.com Published: June 2, 2013

Dr. Jacqueline Scholl's decision to reschedule her daughter's surgery couldn't have been more of a miracle. A simple conflict potentially saved both of their lives.

On May 20, Jayde, 5, Scholl's adopted child from China, expected to have her second cochlear implant surgery done at Moore Medical Center — the same day the killer tornado tore into the hospital and city.

A simple family scheduling conflict had caused Scholl to cancel the May 20 appointment.

The tornado that struck that afternoon devastated the building, but hospital staff recovered the box containing Jayde's implant. In perfect condition, the package holding her revolutionary RONDO device was still wrapped up, with no apparent damage.

“I didn't understand the magnitude of the damage 'til we drove through Moore,” Scholl said. On May 24, they traveled from Tulsa to Norman for the rescheduled surgery, which went well, sending Jayde on her way to hearing with both ears.

Being a doctor of audiology, Scholl worked diligently to get Jayde the newest in cochlear implant technology, like the RONDO. She received her first implant in the left ear. The device has been activated for three months now.

The RONDO is “the first all-in-one processor,” Scholl said. Other models have three pieces — an over the ear piece, a cord, and a magnet — compared to the RONDO's one external piece. Two weeks after surgery installing the internal piece inside the cochlea, the activation of the external piece will commence.

“It will help her be a little girl,” said Scholl, who wants her daughter to live without the burden of multiple head devices. Hair can be styled to make the RONDO devices less noticeable.

“She's a pistol,” Scholl said, describing her daughter's toughness.

Jayde has a happy story, Scholl said.

“But there are so many other people whose stories aren't happy, and we need to pray for those people.

“I have a heavy respect for Mother Nature,” Scholl said — tornadoes being one of the few things that get her rattled.

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