Making Teddy's dream come true
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A dream comes true for 12-year-old Teddy Dean of Lake Charles, a boy who lived in an almost silent world until six months ago.
Teddy had lived his entire life with severe hearing loss, the result of a birth defect connected to Down syndrome. In August 2015, Dr. Brad LeBert with Lake Area Medical Center successfully brought clear sound to Teddy through the Baha hearing system.
Watch the original stories here: Teddy's journey to hear clearly for the first time and New world of sound leads to unforgettable reaction for Teddy
When the medical team played music for Teddy for the first time, it led to the biggest reaction, thanks to his favorite singer, Pitbull.
Pitbull has been a part of Teddy's daily routine for years, which mom, Suzy Borel, said meant blaring it for him before the hearing device was implanted.
"I would say, 'Teddy you need to turn it down,'" she said. "'But Pitbull, Pitbull,' he would say. 'Yeah, but turn it down.'"
"Mr. Worldwide" has meant more to Teddy than music: it is his reason to get up and moving each day.
"That's his motivation for him to go to school and then, when we pick him up, it's Pitbull again," said Borel.
So, when Golden Nugget announced that Pitbull would perform in Lake Charles in February, everyone connected to Teddy's journey got the wheels in motion to make his dream of seeing Pitbull come true.
"He has no idea," said Borel, "We haven't said anything or told him about anything. He thinks he's here to see a movie."
Golden Nugget entertainment manager, Ron Richey, is in on the surprise and said he cannot wait to watch it all unfold.
"He's going to be able to see his idol play for the first time and he doesn't know," he said. "I can't wait to see that. It's going to be great."
For the surprise, Teddy is escorted to the concert venue and is sat down by his mother.
"You get to meet Pitbull!" she said.
It takes some time for Teddy to process what is about to happen. Then, without skipping a beat, he makes a Pitbull song request.
"Fireball!" he said.
Like a real celebrity, Teddy poses for pictures with his fans before the concert, including the doctor who brought this child into a new world of sound.
"It's been such a long road for him to get here his whole life struggling," said Dr. LeBert, "and now at this point to be able to enjoy music to its fullest and he's such a Pitbull fan. To get to meet his idol, I'm just proud to be a part of it and happy for him."
Next, it is time to have his ticket of a lifetime scanned and his VIP seats scoped out.
"This is our next journey," said Borel. "It's kind of like we've finished that chapter; we're on our next chapter. His dream, his dream now that he gets to see."
Then, finally it is the moment Teddy and his family have been waiting on - meeting Pitbull.
"How ya feeling Teddy?" I ask him.
Teddy gives two thumbs up and he walks backstage to see the pop superstar.
Teddy is in awe standing face-to-face with Pitbull. The star kisses Teddy's mom, gives everyone a hug, and even shows Teddy a signature dance move.
Then it is go time for everyone, Pitbull included!
"To see his face and he was just like in awe and then sitting talking to him a little bit, having him meet somebody that means that much to him, his idol," said Borel.
When the lights come up and the music starts, this child who once struggled to hear anything is not just hearing the music. He becomes the music, the energy, the light - a child transformed by all of his senses, and the joy of this new world.
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