Brody 2 resized

A Last Resort Restores Hope for Brody

Brody 2 resized

Brody loves the water. He lives near the Chesapeake Bay and often boats and fishes with his brothers. These activities give Brody, 13, an escape from his ongoing health struggles. 


He had sudden hearing loss in one ear when he was 8 and his condition perplexed doctors. Over the next year, the family traveled to multiple cities to visit specialists. One said Brody didn’t have a cochlear nerve in one ear — which wasn’t the case. This doctor suspected he had hearing issues all along and had learned to compensate.


“None of it added up and I knew my child deserved more,” recalls Brody’s mom, Laurie. 


He faced challenges in both school and his social life. Single-sided deafness makes it difficult to identify where sounds come from. Brody couldn’t understand teachers or follow conversations with classmates. His grades suffered and he began to isolate from friends. 


“Little did I know the answer to our prayers was 45 minutes away at Children’s National,” says Laurie. When Brody was 10, they met Brian Reilly, M.D., co-director of our Cochlear Implant Program, and Tracey Ambrose, AuD, CCC-A, a lead audiologist. 


They conducted additional tests and determined that a cochlear implant would improve Brody’s hearing. Dr. Reilly installed it a few weeks later. Within 6 months, Brody lost hearing in his other ear and needed a second implant. “Drs. Reilly and Ambrose were so proactive and attuned to Brody’s needs, which I appreciated after what we had gone through,” says Laurie.


Later that year, the family learned that a rare autoinflammatory disease caused Brody’s hearing loss, among other symptoms. These days, Dr. Ambrose is optimistic. She continues to explore ways to make Brody’s implants more effective. The disease has further damaged his cochlear nerves and some of his hearing has deteriorated since he got his implants.


“The team at Children’s National took a tragedy and turned it into a story of hope for my son,” says Laurie. “I want Brody to achieve his dream of designing and building boats one day — that passion keeps him going.”

A young patient at Children's National Hospital.

Make a Difference

Your charitable donation changes children’s lives. Support exceptional health care and discoveries that offer hope, healing and brighter futures.

A young patient at Children's National Hospital.