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Watch A Deaf Woman Hear For The First Time

April 05, 2014 1 min read

Joanne Milne, aged 40, was born deaf. During her 20s she also began to lose her vision, both as a result of a rare genetic disorder called Usher Syndrome, which is incurable to date. The Midlands Implant Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham fitted her with cochlear implants, and her mother filmed the moment when they turn the implants on and Joanne hears for the first time after 40 years of silence. The nurse begins going through the days of the week, a completely mundane ordinary thing, but enough to have Joanne moved to tears from the shock of hearing. deaf-woman-600x450 Joanne is quoted as saying:
"The switch-on was the most emotional and overwhelming experience of my life and I'm still in shock now. The first day everybody sounded robotic and I have to learn to recognise what these sounds are as I build a sound library in my brain… Hearing things for the first time is so, so emotional, from the ping of a light switch to running water. I can't stop crying. I can already foresee how it's going to be life changing and the implants will get better and better over time, I'm so so happy."
It’s amazing to be reminded of something that I take for granted every day. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m going to go listen to some classical music and enjoy every single note.

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