|Name Dunn triplets|
Born April 30, 2000 (age 21)
Names Zoe Dunn, Sophie Dunn, Emma Dunn
Famous For World's only deafblind triplets
Similar Haben Girma, Robert Smithdas, Sally Hobart Alexander
The Dunn triplets, Zoe, Sophie and Emma (born April 30, 2000), are the world's only known deafblind triplets. They are all deaf and blind because of their extremely premature birth and first few months of life.
Birth and infancy
The identical triplets are the world's only known deafblind triplets. They were born on April 30, 2000, at 24 weeks. Their mother had gone into labor at 23 weeks, and had managed to hold off delivery until signs of distress in the triplets led to an emergency Caesarean. The three sisters spent months in hospitals, but all three survived to go home. As a result of their premature birth, all three developed advanced-stage retinopathy of prematurity. They began to lose their hearing after their first birthday and by their second birthday were completely deaf. They had developed ototoxicity from the antibiotics they were given in hospital to prevent infection.
Treatment and education
The triplets live in the Houston area with their mother, Liz, stepfather, George Hooker, and older sister Sarah. All three are completely deaf, but received cochlear implants shortly before their third birthday and have subsequently all been given a second cochlear implant. Sophie is legally blind, but she can still see shapes and read very large print at close range. She also has tunnel vision and wears thick glasses. Zoe can see only light and dark, just enough to find windows and lights, while Emma has no light perception. All three have normal IQs. Sophie can speak; the others communicate mainly through tactile sign language. With the aid of donations to a fund they set up for deafblind children, plus a grant from the Dr. Phil Foundation, Liz and George Hooker pay for specially trained intervenors to provide home-based education, initially for Zoe alone.
Films and TV
The triplets have been featured on Dr. Phil twice and have been the focus of two documentaries: Through Your Eyes (2006) and Deaf and Blind Triplets (2008).