Mom captures heartwarming footage of her deaf little girl hearing her voice for the first time
We don't often think about how much we take our five senses for granted, but if we were to lose just one of them, it would change our lives forever. Just think about never being able to experience the sight of your loved ones' face, or the sound of music, ever again. In the past, these disabilities used to be permanent: but now, more and more people are having their senses restored to them thanks to advances in medicine and technology mean that some people can be helped.
A mother has managed to capture the incredible moment that her baby daughter heard her voice for the very first time. Sienna Ashton, a year-old baby girl who lives in Melbourne, Australia with her parents Melanie and Latham, was born deaf and diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss at four-weeks-old, as a result of nerve damage in her inner ear.
However, doctors worked hard to endure that she would not be confined to live in a soundless world, and little Sienna was fitted with hearing aids in both ears. When Melanie switched them both on for the first time, she grabbed her camera and filmed her daughter reacting to sound for the very first time.
Commenting on the poignant moment, Melanie stated: "We’d been afraid she would never speak, and I’d see other mums’ little ones hitting those milestones and wonder if that’d ever happen for Sienna. Now we know she’s going to grow up just fine, and have a fulfilled life, with so much support around her."
Melanie explains that Sienna "is profoundly deaf in her left ear, and moderately to severely impaired in her right. It was heartbreaking to hear. We had no idea if she’d ever even heard our voices, and couldn’t help but think of what life would be like and all the challenges she’d face growing up. I’d been really sick throughout the pregnancy, so couldn’t help worrying that this was all down to something I had done wrong."
"It’s a subtle reaction, but you can see something has changed. She’s just taking it all in. At one point, she started to get a little upset, so I soothed her and that’s when I knew, without a doubt, she could hear me. I was just reacting to her, telling her, ‘Hi bubba,’ over and over, so she could get used to me."
She added: "Latham and I both unknowingly carried a gene that we passed on to her, It was a very bittersweet moment. We know now this was nobody’s fault, but it was difficult hearing about this gene we’d had no idea we had. If we have any more children, there is a chance we will pass it to them also, but seeing Sienna and what an amazing character she has makes us less afraid of this. There are discussions to be had, but we know the steps to take now, and how much support is out there."
Despite having her cochlear implants fitted, Sienna is still being taught how to use sign language to help her communicate. However, recently she managed to say her first word: "Mum." It's good to know that mother and daughter can now hear each other loud and clear.