At first she couldn’t hear: Now a Sioux Center teen inspires others through music

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 5:47 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX CENTER, IA (KTIV) - Most of us take our five senses for granted. Not 14-year-old Peyton Van Otterloo.

Until she was ten months old, Peyton couldn’t hear most anything. That all changed when she got cochlear implants, and her world opened up wide to include a love of music.

“It just feels like the world just paused. You know, it doesn’t feel like there’s no noises there’s no nothing,” she said.

That’s Peyton Van Otterloo describing life without her cochlear implant, which was surgically implanted when she was 10 months-old. Now 14, Van Otterloo can hear the whole world.

“We didn’t know if cochlear implants (were) gonna work. And so when I started music, it was kind of it was just something that we didn’t think it was gonna happen. Yeah, so music is a big part of my life,” said Peyton Van Otterloo.

Bonita Van Otterloo is proud of her daughter, who was named a Cochlear Foundation National Inspirer, this year. Inspire she has.

She plays saxophone in the band, and even sings in the choir.

“Everybody has their own, their own journey in that and so, but you are your own advocate that, so you know, whatever that looks like for you, make sure that you are fighting for yourself,” said Bonita Van Otterloo, Peyton’s mother.