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Three-Year-Old Hears Father’s Voice for the First Time

(WGGB/CNN) — A three-year-old boy who was born deaf is hearing for the first time thanks to a special device.

It’s a modern-day miracle. Watch as this little boy hears his father’s voice for the first time.

“Hi Grayson. Talk to him, daddy.”
“Daddy loves you. Daddy loves you.”
“He can hear!”
“Can you hear daddy?”

Before this moment, Grayson Clamp had never heard a sound.

Grayson was born without the auditory nerves that carry sound from the inner ear to the brain. Initially, he was fitted with a cochlear implant but, without nerves, it was ineffective.

That’s when doctors at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine gave him this: an auditory brainstem implant.

“The surgery is done through an incision behind the ear. We remove a small window of bone, then we go down and there’s a fold in the brain or plane between the surface of the brain and the bone. We are able to open that plane up with a little bit of patience and find our way down until we get to the brainstem and we can see the normal nerves that are present. We can also see where the missing nerve would be,” says Dr. Matthew Ewend, a neurosurgeon at UNC.

The device is typically used in adults whose nerves have been damaged and hadn’t yet been approved for use in children, but that changed, thanks to an FDA approved trial.

And Grayson became the first child in the country to undergo the procedure.

“We don’t really know exactly what it’s like for him. We don’t know exactly what he hears, if he hears everything we hear, some of what we hear.”

Doctors are confident Grayson will eventually hear and speak like any other child.

His parents say he’s already made great progress. Although, they won’t soon forget what that first moment was like.

“I’ve never seen a look like that today. I mean, he looked deep into my eyes. He was hearing my voice for the first time. It was phenomenal,” says Len Clamp, Grayson’s father, in a statement.

Information from CNN was used in this report.

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