Jayna Altman - Miss International 2008
Born severely premature, Jayna spent the first three months of her life in the intensive care unit where she underwent 14 pnemothoraxis, open heart surgery at 6 weeks old, and 2 complete blood transfusions, among many other medical complications. As a result of her survival, she was dubbed the Arizona Miracle Baby and written up in several medical journals regarding her odds.
Medications given to sustain her life, left Jayna with a severe to profound hearing loss. Doctors predicted as a result of such complications that Jayna would never learn to speak, obtain beyond a third grade education, and live a normal life.
Despite such dismal predictions, Jayna learned to speak beautifully as a result of intensive auditory verbal therapy for 12 years. She graduated with distinction and honors from the University of California, San Diego, and she has completed classes towards a doctorate at Washington University School of Medicine.
Today, Jayna serves as a role model and advocate for various disabilities, specifically hearing loss. She has worked with several organizations, which has allowed her the opportunity to travel more than 25,000 miles, and raise more than $1.5 million dollars speaking on behalf of her platform.
Below are some of the few roles she has served over the years:
- National Poster child/ Alumni Spokesperson for John Tracy Clinic
- State Board Trustee for Hearing Loss Association of America
- State Conference Speaker with Heather Whitestone (Miss America 1995)
- Conference Speaker for AG Bell Association