When Hillary Whittington learned she was having a girl, she and her husband, Jeff, were thrilled. Naturally, the couple started getting ready for the arrival of their first child.
There was the pink and white nursery to finish, dresses and bows to buy.
Like most first-time parents, they thought they had prepared for just about everything. Then, only months after Ryland was born, Hillary and Jeff realized something wasn’t quite right.
When they called out, Ryland didn’t respond. Ryland was deaf.
Cochlear implants restored young Ryland’s ability to hear, and the Whittingtons thought they had overcome their toughest challenge.
But Ryland had more to share with them, according to the family’s incredibly powerful YouTube video, which has been seen more than 7 million times. Their story is also the subject of an equally moving short film “Raising Ryland,” which is exclusively being showcased on CNN.com.
Ryland, they learned, is transgender.