Deaf toddler hears her mom say 'I love you' for first time after getting cochlear implants

Posted at 8:09 AM, Jun 21, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Two-year-old A'Deja Rivers has been deaf since birth. On Thursday, she heard her mother's voice for the first time, thanks to cochlear implants.

A’Deja's sister, Jalen and her father are also hearing impaired. Jalen had success with cochlear implants in the past, so on Thursday, the family traveled to Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.

“It’s so exciting,” said A’Deja’s mom Patricia.

Following the implant procedure, A’Deja heard her family’s voices for the first time. The toddler's grandparents were also there.

“This moment never gets old,” said audiologist Shelly Ash. “It’s always so moving.”

Cochlear implant technology has accelerated over the years. Now the technology can even be linked via Bluetooth.

Kids have different reactions to hearing sound for the first time.

“When we first start out, we’re introducing very soft levels of electrical current,” said Shelly Ash. “It just sounds to her like 'beep, beep, beep.'”

For A’Deja, she was neither happy or scared. She was simply... amazed.

Her eyes widen and her jaw dropped.

She realized what it was: sound.

And she turned her head when her mother said those three magic words: I love you.”

This story was originally published by Sean Daly on WFTS in Tampa, Florida.