TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Harper Moore, 15, has a lot to smile about. She has a loving family and now something she wasn't born with -- the ability to hear.
"She failed her newborn hearing screen right at the hospital after she was born, which isn't rare," said Amber Moore, Harper's mother.
But, further tests also failed. Harper was born deaf.
"We were mad, we were sad, not knowing what her future would hold."
Hearing aids didn't work, so she qualified to receive cochlear implants. Harper underwent surgery to receive them at Shands Hospital in Gainesville. First, the right side of the head last July, then the left in December.
"It was amazing. You could tell right away she could hear what we were saying. I spoke first then she looked at me and smiled," Moore said.
Two times a week now, Harper goes to therapy.
"Were working on trying to get Harper to obviously use new words, new sounds, approximations, anything that you would expect a 12- to 15 month-old child to do," said Nikki Riley, a speech language pathologist and Harper's therapist.
The Moores have now taken their story to the Capitol, lobbying for bills they believe would hope make the process they went through easier for parents in the future.
They're hoping lawmakers pass a newborn health screening bill that would make information about children and their hearing more readily available.
"I earned what I refer to as my 'Google PhD' on everything from hearing loss and cochlear implants," Moore said.
Moore has also started a Facebook group page, CI Pride, with more information.