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TV Interview Transcript

Posted Oct 01 2008 9:17pm
I've had several requests for the transcript for my TV interview. The reporter emailed it to me so I'll post it for those of you who can't hear without close captioning. I know I still like to use close captioning myself. So, here it is! (The capital letters are the voice track that the reporter did and the lower case sentences are my quotes.) I hope you enjoy!

Anchor Intro: AFTER A LIFETIME OF LIVING IN SILENCE AN EAST TENNESSEE WOMAN IS SPEAKING OUT ON BEHALF OF THE STATES DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING. BUT AS STYLE'S APRIL LAMB LEARNED, LAURIE PULLINS NEVER LET HER HEARING LOSS DISABLE HER.

Package:
LAURIE PULLINS WAS BORN WITH A PROFOUND HEARING LOSS.

The doctors told my parents to put me in an institution, that I would have a difficult life and that I would never learn to speak. . .

BUT HER PARENTS DIDN'T WANT THEIR DAUGHTER TO BE TRAPPED IN A WORLD OF SILENCE.

My mother was a teacher and because I was the first child, she didn't know anything else and felt like she could work with me and find a way to get me to be a part of the hearing world.

LAURIE'S PARENTS FOUND HELP FOR THEIR DAUGHTER AT OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, WHERE A PROGRAM WAS BEGINNING TO TEACH THE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING HOW TO READ LIPS AND TALK.

Back when I was diagnosed when I was two, it was unconventional for people to teach the deaf to talk. . .I can remember sitting on my therapist's lap and putting my hand to her throat and trying to imitate the sounds that she was making.

LAURIE WENT TO A DEAF SCHOOL FOR KINDERGARTEN, BUT WAS THEN MOVED INTO PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

That's when things got hard. Kids would make fun of me because I talked funny and I couldn't hear them when they called out to me. They labeled me as a snob sometimes because I wasn't answering them when they talked to me.

AS A CHILD LAURIE DIDN'T LET HER HEARING LOSS LIMIT HER EXPERIENCES: SHE LEARNED TO PLAY THE PIANO AND THEN HEADED OFF TO COLLEGE WHERE SHE MET HER HUSBAND.

When I was growing up I always wanted to get married and have children. I never thought it would be possible with my disability. But I met my husband. He never saw my hearing as a disability. . .he loved me for who I was.

AFTER THE COUPLE MARRIED LAURIE PUT HER EDUCATION ON HOLD WITH A PROMISE TO HER PARENTS THAT ONE DAY SHE WOULD RETURN. WITH SCHOOL ON HOLD, LAURIE AND HER HUSBAND STARTED A FAMILY.

My children had to be my ears for me at a very young age. I taught them how to talk for me. They had to learn their manners and be an advocate for me on the phone.

ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO LAURIE WENT TO WORK AT THE ALCOA TENN FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, A JOB THAT POSED MANY CHALLENGES.

10 years ago I was a very scared person because I had never worked with the public. I was not comfortable working with the public, but I needed a job where I could work during the day and be with my children at night.

LAURIE SAYS SHE READ LIPS AND HAD TO ASK CUSTOMERS TO SPEAK UP, BUT HER CO-WORKERS HELPED WHEN THEY COULD AND THE EXPERIENCE RENEWED HER DESIRE TO GET A DEGREE IN ACCOUNTING. SO, SHE ENROLLED IN AN ON-LINE CLASS AT PELLISSIPPI STATE.

I did so well with my first class that I took another class. I did well in that class so I took two classes the next semester and to make a long story short I decided to go to school full time.

LAURIE DECIDED TO GO TO THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE WHERE SHE FOUND SUPPORT THAT DIDN'T EXSIST THE FIRST TIME PURSUING A DEGREE.

When I enrolled at the University of Tennessee the disabilities office contacted me I didn't even know there was a disabilities office. They said, "We would like to come to your classes and help you" and I said "Well, I don't sign. I don't need an interpreter. They said, "We can provide a note taker for you. . ."

TRANSCRIBERS WENT TO CLASS WITH LAURIE AND IN TWO YEARS SHE GRADUATED AND BEGAN WORKING AS AN ACCOUNTANT, BUT THE CHANGES IN HER LIFE KEPT COMING. IN 2005 LAURIE LEARNED THAT SHE WAS LOSING WHAT LITTLE HEARING SHE HAD.

I always knew that cochlear implants were out there. I was waiting until I had nothing left before I would consider it.

COCHLEAR IMPLANTS ARE AN ELECTRONIC HEARING DEVICED THAT IS IMPLANTED SURGICALLY IMPLANTED. IN AUGUST OF 2005 LAURIE UNDERWENT SURGERY TO PLACE HER FIRST COCHLEAR IMPLANT.

My hearing aids did enough to communicate with other people to hear the sounds I thought I needed to hear. But there were many sounds that I missed. I never got to hear the birds sing. I never got to hear my kids when they were talking. I never got to hear my kids call out to me when they needed something. . .

BUT THE DAY THAT LAURIE HAD HER IMPLANT ACTIVATED ALL OF THAT CHANGED.

I heard the dog's toenails on the floor. I could hear music playing and I could hear a bird. When I went out to lunch with my friend I could hear the coffee maker making noise, I could hear the blinker in my car. I talked to my husband on the phone for the first time that night. It was instant, but it wasn't perfect, but it was better than what I had before.

THE GIFT OF SOUND WASN'T JUST A JOY FOR HER IT WAS ALSO A JOY FOR HER FAMILY.

The first week I was activated, my son came home from school, from college, because he wanted to talk to me. He wanted me to hear his voice when he came home. And I can remember him running up the stairs with a box in his hand. He said, "Mom I have a present for you." When I opened it up it was an iPod. . . all four of my children had bought it together, because for the first time I could hear all the sounds coming together in music.

EARLIER THIS YEAR LAURIE DECIDED TO IMPLANT HER OTHER EAR.

Just like if you listen to the radio or when you watch TV if you have a bad speaker it's not going to sound good to you. I had one good speaker with my cochlear implant and I had a bad speaker with my hearing aid. I wanted two good speakers.

LAURIE ENJOYS BEING ABLE TO HEAR THE THINGS GOING ON AROUND HER, BUT IT HAS CAUSED HER TO LOOK BACK AND FOCUS ON OTHERS WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH A HEARING LOSS.

I feel like this is a new chapter in my life and I want to pay it forward to those who have not always had the support system that I have had. I want to be a source of encouragement, a source of information. . .

IN APRIL LAURIE WAS APPOINTED TO THE TENNESSEE COUNCIL FOR THE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING.

I am the only deaf person on the council that has been deaf from birth. There are some on the council that work with the hard of hearing, there are some who have lost their hearing later in life.

I truly believe that God gives people gifts and I am where I am today because other people have shared their gifts.

I am very appreciative of what I have. . .I appreciate hearing the birds sing, I appreciate being able to talk on the phone. Every day is Christmas.

Anchor Tag: LAURIE HAS DOCUMENTED HER LIFE AND THE PROCESS OF GETTING HER COCHLEAR IMPLANT ON A BLOG THAT SHE ONE DAY HOPES TO TURN INTO A BOOK.
YOU CAN FIND A LINK TO HER BLOG ON OUR WEBSITE WBIR.COM.
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