Maria does not remember the first time we met Linda Daniel. It was 1988—Maria was only 5 years old and had just lost her hearing due to meningitis. Linda gave us hope that Maria would be able to communicate verbally when no one else believed she could. Maria started in Auditory-Verbal Therapy that day.
Months later, when we decided to get a cochlear implant for her, Linda stood by us even though she was unsure about it, as she had not yet worked with a child who had one. She started working with Maria’s new hearing system as soon as we got home from the implant activation. She worked tirelessly in order to prepare her for kindergarten. Once Maria started school, she thrived. Maria was able to be mainstreamed throughout her school years and went on to graduate as salutatorian of her high school and graduated in the top 4% of her class at the University of Texas at Austin.
She attended law school at the University of Houston Law Center and Linda was there to see her walk across the stage at her graduation. Today, Maria works in Austin as a staff attorney for a national company that provides services and innovative technology to people who are deaf and hard of hearing. She recently married the love of her life and of course, like all the major milestones in Maria’s life, Linda was there with pride to enjoy the beautiful event!
Esther Wilson, mother