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Deaf mother hears son say 'I love you' for very first time

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 7th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Mother Dawn Keim was delighted to hear her son say "I love you," for the very first time. After 15 years of silence, Keim received a cochlear implant allowing her to hear. She shared with viewers on the daytime talk show "The Doctors" hearing her eight-year-old son speak for the first time in a moving moment.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Breaking down in tears, Keim replied, "I love you too," with the little boy, who then added, "Now she can finally hear me and I'm not silent anymore."

The 43-year-old mother-of-three described the experience as "overwhelming . It's far better than I expected it to be.

"I was so fearful of what I was going to hear and what it was going to sound like. I'm still overwhelmed."

Producers for the daytime talk show "The Doctors," arranged for the El Paso, Texas, native to have her hearing restored through pioneering surgery.

She had long feared she would never hear her eldest sons' voices again and feared she would never be able to talk properly to Asher.

The TV show, which airs this episode this week, offered her the chance of surgery. Taken to the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, she was given a cochlear implant.

Cochlear implants may help provide hearing in patients that are not deaf because of damage to sensory hair cells in their cochleas. In those patients, the implants often can enable sufficient hearing for better understanding of speech. The quality of sound is different from natural hearing, with less sound information being received and processed by the brain. However, many patients are able to hear and understand speech and environmental sounds. Newer devices and processing-strategies allow recipients to hear better in noise, enjoy music, and even use their implant processors while swimming.

As of December 2010, approximately 219,000 people worldwide have received cochlear implants; in the U.S., roughly 42,600 adults and 28,400 children are recipients.[1] The vast majority are in developed countries due to the high cost of the device, surgery and post-implantation therapy. A small but growing segment of recipients have bilateral implants for hearing stereo sound.

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