July 2017 DailyMail.com
A toddler who was born deaf finally got to hear his mother say 'I love you' for the first time, and the emotional moment was caught on camera. Two-year-old Kanon Newsome from Emanuel County, Georgia was passed a faulty gene by both his parents, which left him with no hearing at all.
Thanks to cochlear implant surgery, though, the little boy finally has the ability to hear, and heartwarming footage taken soon after the procedure shows him hearing his mother's voice for the first time in his life.
His parents Lindsey and Justin, both 27, were both devastated with their son's lack of hearing when he was younger. As a newborn, Kanon failed his hearing test, and further exams revealed he was totally deaf. He was diagnosed with sensorineural bilateral hearing loss and referred to an audiologist.
'When Kanon was younger I used to tell him I would give him my hearing if I could,' Lindsey said. 'He couldn't hear stuff that we take for granted, like birds chirping or the wind blowing or leaves in the trees.’ 'It was devastating. It felt like our world was crushed. It was the last thing we were expecting,' she went on. 'Above all, it broke my heart that he had never heard us say, "I love you."'
When Kanon was five months old, doctors tried fitting him with hearing aids, but they had no effect. Then, he came under the care of doctors at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where experts recommended cochlear implants.
In March, when he was 19 months old, the little boy underwent surgery to insert the implants, which replace the function of the damaged ear. 'The implants have totally changed his world,' Lindsey said. 'It was nerve-wracking but amazing. There were 18 people in the room — the whole family drove to the hospital.'
'My heart was beating so fast because my baby was about to hear for the first time,' she added. 'He had no idea what was happening. She turned it on and he scratched his forehead and grabbed his ear.'
Heartwarming footage shows Kanon moments after the first implant in his right ear was activated. As he hears tones being played for him, he first seems surprised and uncomfortable by this new sensation. He then looks confused and shocked as he hears mom Lindsey Newsome tell him she loves him for the first time in his life — but soon flashes a smile. 'He had no idea what was happening. He scratched his forehead and grabbed his ear. At first it was a beeping sound, but then his daddy and I got to say, "Hey Kanon, we love you." And he heard it for the first time. 'He whined and cried and pulled the device off because he wasn't sure what was going on. But after a few seconds he was figuring it all out. 'When he was first able to hear it was one of the best days of my life. The fact that I could tell him I loved him was incredible — I cried so much,' Lindsey added. 'It means the world to me.’ He had a second implant in his left ear turned on in May. With his new implants, he is now learning how to talk and has developed a love of blues and soul music.
Adorable videos show him squeezing his eyes shut and swaying as he listens to his parents' records. 'He loves slow blues music. He will close his eyes and just dance to it,' said his mom. 'He didn't really pay attention to it when the first one was switched on but now he has both he will actually go to the radio and tell us to turn it on. It makes me so happy.'
Kanon is now having regular auditory therapy to help him learn how to talk and catch up with his classmates. His first word, uttered last month, was "hot", and he's now picking up other words.