A Story of Resounding Hope

Each year at Johns Hopkins Medicine International, we welcome about 4,500 patients who travel from all over the world, trusting us to coordinate every aspect of their care while they’re receiving treatment at Johns Hopkins. Let me share one patient’s story:

Mateo was born May 14, 2014, in Mexico City after a complication-free pregnancy and delivery. But as his parents Karla Tello and Stéphane Avril prepared to leave the hospital, one simple sound changed their lives forever.

The pediatrician started clapping, but a sleeping Mateo didn’t stir. The baby failed a routine hearing test, and his doctors weren’t sure of a diagnosis or next steps.

The family then met with a local specialist, but still couldn’t get any answers. Frustrated, Tello and Avril turned to the internet for help, searching top-ranked ear, nose and throat programs in the United States. After many queries and a few responses, they felt their best option was the Johns Hopkins Listening Center.

Two months later, the family landed in Baltimore, where the vice chair of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery confirmed Mateo’s deafness—and offered a solution.

In March 2015, then-10-month-old Mateo underwent surgery for his first cochlear implant and recovered quickly. He comes to Johns Hopkins twice a year for intensive therapy and has regular appointments at home in Mexico, with clinicians who collaborate with Mateo’s Baltimore-based care team.

Watch Mateo’s story, and how his family found the right care at Johns Hopkins.