A young girl who was born with a viral auditory infection was given the gift of hearing from an unexpected donor.
When one family lost their 5-year-old daughter to a multitude of health complications earlier this year, the parents decided to donate her brand new pink hearing aids to a local teacher in hopes of passing them onto another child in need.
"It was so neat to be a part of this journey from the beginning to the end," Jennifer Autorino, a teacher for young children with hearing loss in Seminole County, Florida, told ABC News. "It seemed like it was orchestrated."
Autorino reached out to the Giddens family when she saw on social media that their young daughter needed new hearing aids.
"I posted on Facebook because Brianna [Giddens] needed new hearing aids as her hearing loss progressed," Megan Giddens told ABC News of her 4-year-old daughter. "Doctors told us that the technology had advanced and Brianna needed the newest kind, but hearing aids aren’t covered by our insurance."
Brianna was born with congenital CMV [cytomegalovirus], which can result in total hearing loss and other long-term health problems, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Giddens said her daughter's symptoms initially went undetected, but that she started losing her hearing between 6 months and a year.
Giddens said she and her husband, Jason Giddens, were overwhelmed and brought to tears when Autorino informed them about the available hearing aids and how she came to have them.
"Jennifer called and told us she was working with a medically fragile child who had passed away and the family wanted her to pass on the new hearing aids," Megan Giddens recalled.
When the 5-year-old girl died, Autorino said her mother gave her specific parameters to donate the new hearing aids to someone who wouldn't get them through insurance.
"I was bawling ... This was exactly what the family's wishes were," Megan Giddens said. "I can't imagine being in your own grief and already thinking of how to bless another family. That could’ve been our story, losing a child at 5, so it hit really close to home for us."
The Giddens family have never met the donors, who asked to remain anonymous for this story.
"We met with the Seminole County audiologist and they happened to be the exact model just like my daughter had and they were the latest version in pink, just like she used to have too," Megan Giddens explained.
Megan Giddens said the hearing aids were "a perfect match," down to a special receiver piece called a boot, which she explained "is extremely rare."
Even the 4-year-old’s preschool teachers have noted how vital the new hearing aids have been in Brianna’s hearing and speech.
"They saw a notable change with her talking more at school and being more alert," Megan Giddens said.
The donor family told Autorino that they have found some comfort in their daughter's death by knowing that someone else is benefiting from their donation.
Megan Giddens said they would like the donors to know “how grateful we are and blessed that this family did this for us and our daughter. We are very, very grateful.”