6-year-old loses hearing aids in tornado, hopes to hear again

6-year-old loses hearing aids in tornado, hopes to hear again
ZhaMyria Hutchinson/Photo credit: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After the Jan. 21 tornado swept through the Hub City, there are countless tales of families losing their belongings.

One 6-year-old in Hattiesburg lost more than clothes and toys in that storm.

ZhaMyria Hutchinson lost her hearing aids, and now she is struggling to hear lessons in school and having trouble communicating with her family.

"The tornado came through, it sounded like a freight train, and by the time everything was over with, we had busted windows, cars, and that's what took her hearing aids," said Mykia Hutchinson, ZhaMyria's mother.

Mykia Hutchinson said she has tried every avenue she knows for help.

"I went through Medicaid, and Medicaid said that they wouldn't pay for them because she had a replacement in November, so we went through FEMA," Mykia Hutchinson said. "FEMA said that it was insufficient damage so they wouldn't pay for them."

Since the tornado, ZhaMyria has been trying her best in her kindergarten class at Thames Elementary.

"(You) could be behind her and speaking to her and she would still know what you were saying, but now, without her hearing aids, she can't….she can hardly hear anything and she has to be looking at you to see what you're saying," said Blake Beasley, Thames Elementary School teacher.

Beasley said ZhaMyria is a wonderful student, who always smiles, tries her best and gets along great with the other children.

"It's like the sounds are leaving, and that's what's making her speech just worse and that's what it is, and she gets confused sometimes," Mykia Hutchinson said. "They're really needed, because she isn't functioning good, it's like when you talk to her it's like she's just, you have to holler at her, and she gets to crying because she feels like she's in trouble when she isn't."

ZhaMyria currently is using loaned hearing aids, which do not fit well and are too loud for her. She is scheduled to have surgery next month to receive a cochlear implant in one of her ears, but will still need another hearing aid.

"Being that I can't get any help anywhere, it's like, it's devastating for me," Mykia Hutchinson said.

If you are interested in helping out, you can contact Mykia Hutchinson at her email at hutchinsonmykia64@yahoo.com.