When Rick and Shannon Gutierrez welcomed their fourth child, Jake, to their world, they learned he had a condition known as Microtia Atresia. Jake was profoundly deaf. That’s a lot for a family to take in.
“When it happens, of course you ask: what do we do next?” Rick states.
Luckily, an audiologist recommended Presbyterian Ear Institute (PEI). That, Rick says, was an important first step in providing resources Jake needed. Eventually, Jake started attending the school at the PEI.
Jake Finds Support
The PEI School for Oral Deaf Education offers structured education for deaf and hard-of-hearing preschoolers who can hear with cochlear implants and/or hearing aids and whose families choose spoken language as their child’s primary mode of communication.
Today, Jake’s speech is very appropriate, Rick proudly shares. “He’s got language skills just like any four-year-old.” The Gutierrez family was not familiar with how the Community Fund provided grant funds to programs in the issue areas of Health, Education and Financial Stability, but are happy to do what they can now in support.
Jake's Family Gives Back
Rick also supports PEI with his volunteerism. He is proudest that they are able to offer scholarships to children who may not be able to afford the range of care available. That’s why giving to the Community Fund is important to him now.
"I can see all the strides the kids have made,” Rick declares, “We’re appreciative of everything PEI does.”