A little girl was overcome with emotion as she was able to hear her mother and father’s voices for the first time in her life.
Q’ela Pierce, aged three, immediately put her hand to her head and burst into tears as a cochlear implant was switched on and she could finally hear the sounds of the world.
Despite her reaction, the activation did not hurt Q’ela, however – it was simply the shock to hear her parents, Nikitia Vasser, 33, and Quaneef Pierce, 25, saying her name.
The tearful moment, captured by Quaneef, marked the end of a long journey for the family, who were told when Q’ela was born that she had failed her newborn screening.
After failing another test a few months later and then not responding well to speech and language through hearing aids, Q’elabecame a candidate for a cochlear implant in January.
Her surgery took place on August 29 in Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando, Florida, but it wasn’t until October 3, when her incision had fully healed, that her family were able to attend the activation.
In the weeks since the activation, Nikitia said her daughter has started to recognize nature sounds, though she is still unable to understand where human speech is coming from.
After Quaneef shared the video on Facebook – declaring, “First time hearing and it broke my heart” – the parents have received an outpouring of well wishes as their video went viral.
Nikitia, from Florida, said: “This journey has been really rough, but I never gave up hope so I was ecstatic and emotional during the activation.
“Since activation my family has been so excited, and everyone works on speech with Q’ela and makes sure she keeps her coil attached to her head.
“She’s doing well. She still doesn’t understand when we speak that the sound she’s hearing is coming from us, but she recognizes nature sounds.
“I hope this video lets others know there is hope for you or your loved one to hear again.”
Story courtesy of T&T Creative Media