Born deaf, a Florida toddler heard her mother’s voice for the first time after receiving cochlear implants. And her reaction to it all was nothing short of heartwarming.
The big day for A’Deja Rivers and her family came last week when they traveled from their home in Arcadia, Florida, to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg for the life-changing surgery, local station WFTS reported.
Doctors began with a few soft noises for Rivers, who’s almost 2 years old. Judging by her wide–eyed reaction, however, one would think she’d just heard the most beautiful symphony in the world.
Rivers was so amazed by it all that her jaw dropped.
“This moment never gets old,” audiologist Shelly Ash told the station. “It’s always so moving.”
“When we first start out, we’re introducing very soft levels of electrical current,” Ash explained, adding: “It just sounds to her like ‘beep, beep, beep.’”
After the procedure, Rivers was also able to hear her family’s voices for the first time, including her mother’s sweet whisper of “I love you.” The toddler’s grandparents were also there to witness the heartwarming moment.
“It’s so exciting,” said A’Deja’s mother, Patricia.
WFTS reported that A’Deja’s father and older sister, Ja’Lynn, have impaired hearing as well. The family decided to give cochlear implants a shot on their younger daughter after the device proved successful for Ja’Lynn.
For the procedure, doctors implant a small device in the ear that electrically stimulates the cochlear nerve, which controls hearing, according to John Hopkins Medicine.
The device uses a microphone to pick up sounds from the surrounding environment. That sound is then processed and transmitted to the internal part of the implant.
The site notes that while normal hearing isn’t restored, “the improved hearing experience can mean an increased awareness of sounds in the environment, as well as better communication through easier lip reading and listening.”
The technology has advanced in recent years, and can now even be connected via Bluetooth.
Because A’Deja received the implants at such a young age, doctors said her speech impairment will only be delayed slightly.
Watch more in the video below.