A British woman who was deaf since birth can finally hear for the very first time, thanks to a life-changing operation to fit cochlear implants.
When Joanne Milne, 40, heard her doctor recite the days of the week, she was overwhelmed with emotion, fighting back tears and gasping to catch her breath, the Daily Mail reported.
A video showed the moment her cochlear implants were switched on and she hears for the very first time.
Until that moment, the 40-year-old had not been able to hear anything.
Milne was born with Usher syndrome, a condition that left her blind since birth and in her mid-20s the condition also claimed her sight. But she was fitted with cochlear implants last month after undergoing an operation.
Following the procedure, she had to wait four weeks for medics to switch them on to see if the operation had been successful.
"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," she told The Journal.
“Hearing things for the first time is so emotional from the ping of a light switch to running water. I can’t stop crying and I can already foresee how it’s going to be life changing.” Since the operation, Milne has been able to hear her own – and others’ – voices for the first time. She said: “I’m so happy. Over the last 48 hours hearing someone laughing behind me, the birds twittering and just being with friends,,, they didn’t have to tap my arm to get my attention which a massive leap.”
Milne’s friend, Treymayne Crossley, created a playlist for her titled “An Introduction to Music,” which was sent to BBC Radio 6. Crossley chose one song for each year of Milne’s life.
Milne thanked Crossley and her supporters on Twitter. She hopes to raise awareness about Usher syndrome and inspire others who are living with the condition.