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Sunday, October 2, 2011

29 Year Old Deaf Woman Hears Her Voice For The First Time (Video)

Eight weeks ago, 29 year old Sloan Churman heard something for the first time that most of us take for granted - her own voice.  She was born deaf, and though she has been wearing hearing aids since the age of two, they can only do so much.  Recently, she received an implant called an Esteem by Envoy Medical.  It's implanted in the middle ear, and uses the eardrum as a microphone.  It picks up sounds through the ear canal and naturally reduces background noise.

Take a look at the video.  It's very touching.

From what I have read, the Esteem is virtually invisible.  It also works much differently than a Cochlear implant.  If you haven't seen this video before, it is of an 8 month old little boy named Jonathan.  Doctors are testing a Cochlear implant that has just been placed in his ear canal.  When they turn it on for the first time, look at his reaction when he hears his mother's voice.  It's amazing.

This is what advancements in technology are about.  At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how thin your cell phone is, or how many apps it has access to.  The clarity of the latest high definition televisions aren't important.  None of those things are improving the day to day life of those who need it the most.  A child born deaf today may never have the need to learn sign language or to read lips.  Think about that for a moment.  They can function, and thrive, on a level playing field in a hearing world.  What does the next twenty years have in store for the medical field?  Will disabilities and sensory loss be a thing of the past?