Toddler hears parents voices for the first time

Friday, February 28, 2014 - 3:56pm

A young child born deaf hears her parents' voices for the first time, Robbie Owens reports.

Like most toddlers, Kendall Johnson squeals, gurgles and fusses, but she's making noises, that she can't hear, Kemper Johnson, Sr., Father, "Most of the toys for babies have sound-- and until now she just looks at it and she's like'' that's not fun!"

The 9 month-old Plano girl was born deaf, but, technology is about to turn up the volume on her safe, but silent life

Helen Johnson, Mother, "She has no idea what's about to happen." Kendall is about to hear sound for the very first time with the help of Cochlear implants,

Earlier this month, a tiny receiver was surgically inserted under the skin near her ear. A device worn over the ear picks up and processes sounds.

Dr. Bob Peters, "A Cochlear implant is basically a bionic inner ear."

Doctor Bob Peters at the Dallas Ear Institute is guiding Kendall into her noisy new world, "Today we can tell all patients children born with profound hearing loss-- and any adult that loses their hearing, that there's practically no level of hearing loss that we can't treat them for and keep them functioning very well in the hearing world."

Robbie Owens, "Cochlear implants have been around for about 30 years. But, experts say the technological advances over those decades have been tremendous."

Dr. Bob Peters, "With these implants, it completely changes the trajectory of their life."

Kendall is hearing,  but, it will take time and therapy for her to learn the meaning of those new sounds.

Big brother Kemper, Jr., will be a big help. He was also born deaf and received implants almost four years ago.

Kemper Johnson, Sr., "His favorite thing to do is listen to music.. how ironic is that? He loves to sing, he loves to listen to music. It is neat to to see him living the life that you wouldn't think possible when he was first born."

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