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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

50-Year Old Deaf Mom With 2 Kids Graduates From College a Year Early

Michele Randolph, Deaf mom who graduated college early

Charlotte, NC — Michele Randolph, a mother of two who is hearing-impaired, has graduated a year early from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte despite the challenges she faces at the age of 50.

“I worked really hard for this; I worked really hard,” Randolph told ABC 11 News.

Randolph lost all of her ability to hear when she was 12-years old, but she did not let that stop her from living a normal life. She eventually got married and had two children.

“I basically raised both of my children while deaf. My oldest one had to grow up fast; she basically did all the doctor phone calls, everything for mommy,” she said.

Her youngest daughter, who was born prematurely, had cerebral palsy, autism, and a severe brain injury. She said just seeing her served as an inspiration for her to get through her schooling.

In 2019, Randolph had the opportunity to undergo a cochlear implant and hear her children for the first time.

“When they activated me and I could hear their voices, I was amazed that how I imagined them to talk was actually how they spoke,” Randolph said. “It was just amazing. It was like a lightbulb clicked for me, and I knew then there was nothing, nothing anymore that I could not do.”

Things were going great for Randolph until she lost her grandmother and her husband after a few months. She also had to undergo emergency surgery to repair a gallbladder operation gone wrong.

But still, she was determined to overcome everything. She finally received her degree and she even did it ahead of schedule.

“Sunshine after the rain: It felt good to be able to hear my name called.”