Friday, April 26, 2019

New parents have a lot of questions. How much should my baby eat? How much should they sleep? Are they gaining enough weight?

Hadley’s parents had all those questions and more.

How would her speech develop?

How would they keep hearing aids in her ears?

How would they communicate with her when she wasn't wearing them?

Two-year-old Hadley is living with sensorineural hearing loss. She failed all her hearing tests at birth, which required her to be fitted for hearing aids at just four-months-old.

“Hearing aids are now part of our everyday routine. Hadley looks for them in the morning and sometimes even tries to put them in herself,” said Sarah Hawbaker, Hadley’s mother.

From the very beginning, Hawbaker knew her daughter would need a lifelong relationship with an ENT specialist. While they had been driving to Baltimore for Hadley’s initial visits, chronic ear infections and other issues caused them to search for help close to home.

“While we really like our ENT and audiologist at John’s Hopkins, it is a long drive causing my husband and I to need to take off work,” explained Hawbaker. “It is really nice to have a knowledgeable, friendly specialist close to home that we can see quickly if needed.”

Hadley still sees professionals in Baltimore, she visits her pediatrician for ear infections and visits WellSpan ENT and Hearing Services for other specialty needs.

“Doctor Dunklebarger has been there to help us through more difficult issues. He helped us treat a fungal infection and we developed a plan to help her with excess wax. He is so caring with Hadley and seems very comfortable with her.”

“Many of our patients are young and it is important for us to listen to their needs even if they can’t tell us,” said Joshua Dunklebarger, MD. of WellSpan ENT. “People who come to our practice are facing quality of life issues affecting their ears, nose or throat.  We’re here to help them Live Well.”

Until Hadley can tell her parents and providers exactly what she can and can’t hear, she goes for hearing tests every three months, some of those tests happen at WellSpan ENT.

Despite her hearing challenges, Hadley is a typical two-year-old.

“Life with Hadley is an adventure, which isn't necessarily related to her hearing aids! She is strong willed and knows what she wants,” said Hawbaker. “While we live in Maryland, I would recommend WellSpan ENT to anyone in the tri-state area; Dr. Dunklebarger offers such great care to his patients.’

WellSpan ENT & Hearing will be opening in Greencastle in fall 2019. For more information, visit