Deaf Child Hears Father’s Voice for First Time After Auditory Brain Stem Implant (VIDEO)

By Vishakha Sonawane, Parent Herald June 21, 08:44 am
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Surgeries and implants can bring major changes and happiness in one's life just like it did for a 3-year-old boy, Grayson Clamp, who was born without a cochlear nerve.

Grayson received an auditory brain stem implant under a Food and Drug Administration trial  and is the first child in the U. S. to undergo this surgery. Grayson heard his father's voice for the first time after the surgery and the delight and surprise on his face is very apparent in the video, a precious and priceless moment for his father , Len Clamp.

Grayson was born without a cochlear nerve that connects the brain stem to audio waves in the outside world. His parents Len and Nicole Clamp attempted a cochlear implant that had the device set into the side of his head. But it failed to work due to a lack of the cochlear nerve.

Grayson, underwent a surgery last month that made him the first child in the U.S. to have auditory brain stem implant. Adults have already benefited from device and now it was being tested on children at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill as a part of the trial.

"Our hope is, because we're putting it into a young child, that their brain is plastic enough that they'll be able to take the information and run with it," Dr Craig Buchman, lead study author and head and neck surgeon at UNC, told NBCNews.com. At present, Grayson has an external speech processor with microphone attached.

Dr Buchman said that the child sounded aware but the doctors and his parents do not know what exactly he hears. "We're relying on the plasticity of brain to start to sort to this out," he said

However, at the moment, Len is completely elated over the response given by his son after the implant. "I've never seen another look like that. I mean, he looked deep into my eyes, and he was hearing my voice for the first time," he said. Grayson is Len and Nicole's adopted son. They said they adopted him because they believed God called them to take care of the little boy, reported CNN.

The beaming father further said that Grayson now listens to music and keeps turning on the radio to find out different music. "(There are) no words to describe how excited we were, how validated we're, for all of the challenges. He's got a long way to go, but he's going to get there," he said.

The FDA trial had 10 U.S. children as recipients of the implant. Of these, five were born without a cochlear nerve, just like Grayson. The aim of the trial is to find out whether such implants are safe on children and on its success the device will be available throughout the country.

 

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