Grayson Vaughn is a 9-year-old boy who lives in Fort Smith. And he’s defying odds by raising thousands of dollars through the sport of swimming, after he lost his hearing as a toddler.
"I like to help people be able to see if they’re deaf or not," Grayson said.
Stroke by stroke, Grayson has helped pioneer hearing screening through Swim To Hear, an organization uses swimming as a fundraising measure to help kids with hearing loss.
Grayson lost his hearing at 18 months old. Heather Vaughn, Grayson's mother, knew her son’s life would change forever when she discovered his condition.
So, Swim To Hear soon fell into place. Grayson contributes to the local organization by swimming in meets that bring in donations to purchase hearing screening equipment for public hearing screenings across the region.
Although Grayson said he can't hear anything when he's swimming, he said that's fine because it makes him that much quicker.
“I just like to go like a little slithering snake under there,” Grayson said.
With a passion in place, Grayson said what better way to fuel it than by helping others.
“I`d estimate about $3,600,” said Heather Vaughn when referring to the amount of money Grayson has raised.
Grayson's father, Jason Vaughn, said his son is most comfortable in water.
"The swimming has given him something to put his focus on, and he doesn't have to hear to swim," said Jason Vaughn.
And that's just what Grayson plans to keep on doing.
"I'm making a difference one wave at a time," Grayson said.
Swim To Hear was founded in 2011 by Fort Smith native Ryan Bullock.