Preakness Jockey Kent Desormeaux Races Against Time For Deaf Son With Cochlear Implants and Usher Syndrome
Posted Oct 17 2008 9:00pm
Two weeks ago we discovered that Kentucky Derby winning jockey Kent Desormeaux has a deaf son with cochlear implants, named Jake. Everyone in my family was so excited to see Jake on the television since you rarely see anyone with cochlear implants anywhere, and I searched the internet to find footage of the pre-race story about him (it is linked in my post immediately above). It was a shock to find out that Jake has Usher Syndrome (sometimes called "Usher's Syndrome"), a genetic condition which is causing Jake to lose his sight at an increasing pace.
This USA Today article describes how Jake has had 17 major surgeries during his life, including 11 on his ears, which is an incredible number. The family is trying to have Jake experience as much as possible visually, while he can still see - which must be heartbreaking each and every day. His prescription eyeglasses are outdated almost every couple of months.
Tomorrow, Jake's dad will race Big Brown in the 133rd Preakness Stakes, looking to complete the second piece of a possible Triple Crown. I wish Mr. Desormeaux the best of luck, so we can let young Jake see (and hear) his dad win another huge horse race.