Nothing is quite as moving as watching someone hear for the first time ever, or for the first time after years of deafness, which can be caused by exposure to loud noises over an extended period of time, head trauma, various diseases and viruses, and a malformation of the inner ear. Hearing loss often runs in families, and certain factors like diabetes can contribute to partial or total deafness.
These videos capture what is surely one of the most precious moments in the lives of those who have regained hearing due to custom cochlear implants. Before you watch, you might want to make sure you have a box of tissues handy!
Sarah Hears for the First Time
Sarah Churman was born deaf, and after 29 years of hearing very little with the help of traditional hearing aids, Sarah received Esteem Implants by Envoy Medical. After several surgeries, the day arrived to have the implants turned on. Here is Sarah hearing for the first time.
Sarah admits that before she received the implants, she was becoming an angry person. Her social life was suffering due to her inability to hear, and she was becoming increasingly bitter that she would never hear the voices of her two daughters.
Nowadays, Sarah enjoys hearing and likes to play “What’s That Sound?” Her favorites are the sound of brushing her hair, music, nature – and burping.
The Esteem implant is the world’s first fully implanted hearing device, approved for use in adults who have moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss, which results from damage to the cochlea in the inner ear or from damage to nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. This is the most common type of hearing loss.
Grayson Reacts to His Daddy’s Voice
Three-year-old Grayson Clamp was born without auditory nerves, which means that sound couldn’t be carried to his brain. A cochlear implant was unsuccessful due to the absence of these nerves. As the first child to receive an auditory brainstem implant, Grayson’s expression upon hearing his father’s voice for the first time ever is priceless.
The auditory brainstem implant works by utilizing a microphone that detects sound and transfers it directly into the cochlea nucleus.
Dawn Hears “I Love You” From Her 8-Year-Old Son
Fifteen years ago, when she was in her late 20’s, Dawn Keim began losing her hearing. Her sister notes that the family realized how much hearing she had lost when she would walk away while they were talking to her, unaware that she was being addressed. A hearing test at the age of 30 revealed that Dawn had lost speech recognition, which meant that hearing aids were not an option for her.
At the age of 43, Dawn received a cochlear implant at the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, where the procedure was first developed. Here, Dawn hears her 8-year-old son’s voice for the first time ever.
Before receiving the implant, Dawn was unable to have a group conversation because she relied on lip reading to communicate. According to Paradise Hearing in Phoenix, Ariz., that’s one of the common signs of hearing loss. Other signs and symptoms include having to frequently ask people to repeat themselves, experiencing ringing in the ears, and having difficulty hearing people talk in a noisy location like the mall or a restaurant.
Baby Jonathan Hears His Mommy’s Voice
In 2007, when Jonathan Breaux was just four months old, he was struck with bacterial meningitis, which ossified his cochlear and resulted in deafness. Doctors told Mr. and Mrs. Breaux that the damage would soon be irreversible and implants would never work once the cochlear became completely ossified. With only a few weeks to decide whether to allow their son to have surgery for implants, Jonathan’s parents did a lot of research and finally agreed to move forward with surgery. When Jonathan was eight months old, he received his implants, which allowed him to hear. This video captures the moment baby Jonathan hears his mommy’s voice and how precious hearing is, no matter how old you are:
Cochlear implants in pre-lingual children help them perceive and develop speech better than traditional hearing aids, and since 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics has advocated to reach the goal that all infants are screened for hearing loss within the first month of birth.
If you’re not done feeling the joy of those who hear their own or a loved one’s voice for the first time, this 7-minute compilation of people hearing for the first time will put a spring in your step for the rest of the day!