This tearjerker of a video shows the moment 40-year-old Joanne Milne hears sound for the first time in her life. Needless to say, she is completely overwhelmed.
Joanne was born with a rare condition called Usher Syndrome and has been deaf since birth. Unfortunately, when she was in her mid-20s, the disease also claimed her sight.
Usher syndrome is an incurable rare genetic disorder associated with a mutation in any one of 10 genes, resulting in a combination of hearing loss and visual impairment. It is the leading cause of deaf-blindness.
She was fitted with the implants last month and had to wait all this time to before the device could be activated and tested. When Joanne’s cochlear implants were turned on, she heard a music playlist created by one of her best friends.
The video shows her overwhelming response. Joanne breaks down, telling that her own voice sounds “very, very strange”, before adding, “Wow, it is absolutely amazing”.
"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 recognize what these sounds are as I build a sound library in my brain," she later told a reporter.
"Hearing things for the first time is so, so emotional, from the ping of a light switch to running water. I can't stop crying," she added.