This is the tear-jerking moment a two-year-old deaf boy hears his mother’s voice for the first time. The adorable American child has just been fitted with a hearing aid, and his sheer joy at every sound is beautiful to watch. The youngster, addressed only as Cooper by a woman out of shot, squeals with happiness as he listens to his mother say his name. He throws his arms out, laughing at the noises that surround him, and then stares in wonder as a new aural world opens up before him. With one hand constantly returning to the ear to which the device is fitted, the boy gurgles merrily and taps building blocks together. An incredible 1,800 viewers have ‘liked’ the clip since it was posted on thechive.com. A typical comment reads: ‘I started smiling even before i saw the clip… AMAZING!’ There has been a surge of such clips in recent years as scientists have developed ever more ingenious ways of helping deaf people to hear. Many are given surgically implanted cochlear implants, which provide a sense of sound to people who are deaf or severely hard of hearing and are often referred to as ‘bionic ears’.
Last October, a video of an eight-month-old baby hearing for the first time using the electronic implant went viral, with viewers describing the moment as ‘magical’. Another moving video showed 29-year-old Sarah Churman hearing fully for the first time using the implant. The American woman, who had been wearing hearing aids from the age of two but was only able to hear very quiet noises, was able to talk about it to a fascinated world. One day, perhaps a little later than his peers, Cooper will be able to speak and tell the world what it is like to hear after spending the first two years of your life in silence.
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