A Minnesota infant heard his mother’s voice for the first time recently after a Minnesota hospital fitted the little boy with tiny hearing aids.
Video (shown below) of the touching moment when the hearing aids were turned on is gaining attention and capturing the hearts of many across the Internet.
ABC News reports that Jason and Ahavah Cook’s little bundle of joy, Elijah Cook, was born deaf but was given the gift of hearing by doctors at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
In a blog post about Elijah’s story on the hospital’s website, Ahavah Cook said she and her husband were both born to deaf parents and they were aware that young Elijah could inherit some of his grandparents’ hearing problems.
Although they held out hope, the parents’ worries were confirmed after Elijah’s arrival.
“We could see there was a good chance that he wouldn’t pass additional tests,” Ahavah Cook told the hospital during an interview for the blog post. “When Elijah came back (from the first test), we were expecting good news because we have almost a dozen nieces and nephews that have no hearing issues.”
But that wasn’t to be. He was diagnosed with severe-profound sensorineural hearing loss, a condition doctors think is probably genetic.
But last month doctors fitted then-9-week-old Elijah with hearing aids that are only slightly larger than a quarter and filmed the moment they first switched them on.
“Hi buddy,” are the first words Ahavah Cook says to her son in the brief video.
Elijah appears to flinch and blink his eyes a few times as he gets used to the new sensation.
Then he smiles.
Ahavah said those first moments were nearly overwhelming for her.
“The first time I saw him blink, I had a lot of emotions,” she said in the hospital blog. “I was trying really hard not to cry. I didn’t want him to see me cry. I was trying hard to keep it together and just talk to him.”
Jason Cook said now that his son has grown accustomed to the hearing aids he is interacting more and even making a few of his own sounds.
“The cooing is the big thing,” he said. “He wasn’t very talkative, but ever since he was fitted for his hearing aids, he’s cooing more, he pays more attention.”
The extra noise around the house is a gift to Ahavah Cook, who said she doesn’t mind it at all.
“I kind of lost hope that I would get that milestone,” she said. “But it’s pretty cool that the hearing aid is able to help us bring it back.”
Since Ahavah Cook posted Elijah’s video on YouTube it has been reposted and shared numerous times. Her original video has been viewed more than 43,000 times.
Photo Credit: Screen shot from YouTube