She lost her hearing at 18months from antibiotics to treat a bout of influenza. ****I find it interesting that some people in the West whom I have read up on lost their hearing at 18months. I am sure that that the loss would be detected at a far older age in NGR by which time,the child's development would have been d e l a y e d!****
She grew up reading lips and learning how to speak. And was criticised by the deaf community for not learning to sign language (OUCHHHHHHHH!) but has since learnt it.
Heather had a passion for ballet and graduated from Jacksonville State University. When she won the Miss. America title after participating and winning other beauty pageants, she started her S.T.A.R.S. program around America. S.T.A.R.S. stands for "Success Through Action and Realization of your dreams." S.T.A.R.S. has five points which are: positive attitude, belief in a dream, the willingness to work hard, facing obstacles, and building a strong support team.
Heather also served as an executive board member on the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities.
I recall reading about her faith defining and shaping her life. She wrote about her life experiences in her third book, Let God Surprise You: Trust God with Your Dreams.
Following an incident in which she did not hear her son's cries for help, she opted for a cochlear implant in 2002.