Tears as deaf woman hears for first time

Published Friday, 28 March 2014
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Over 800,000 people have been watching the life-changing moment when a woman who had been deaf since birth was able to hear for the first time.

The incredible moment was filmed by Joanne Milne's mother and shows her bursting into tears in shock and delight.

Joanne, from Gateshead in England, was born deaf and has spent 40 years in silence.

But in her 20s, she also started to lose her vision due to a rare medical condition called Usher Syndrome and is now blind.

Having new cochlear implants switched-on has opened up a new world to Joanne though, in what she branded "the most emotional and overwhelming experience" of her life.

Hearing things for the first time is so, so emotional, from the ping of a light switch to running water. I can't stop crying.

Joanne Milne

"I'm still in shock now. The first day everybody sounded robotic and I have to learn to recognise what these sounds are as I build a sound library in my brain," Joanne, who works for the charity Sense said.

"It's one step at a time as it's all so daunting. It's the small things that are huge life changing experiences to me right now."

One of Joanne's friends, Tremayne Crossley, made a music compilation featuring one song from each year of her life to mark the occasion.

He sent it to BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Lauren Laverne, who featured the playlist on her show.

"Just watched a video of today's #Memory Tape recipient having her cochlear implant turned on and hearing for the first time. Studio in floods," she tweeted.

Some of the tracks chosen included Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by Eurythmics, Prince's When Doves Cry, Everlong by the Foo Fighters, Daft Punk's Digital Love and One Day Like This by Elbow.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
j kearney in Belfast wrote (297 days ago):
Very moving video best wishes and good luck x
Larry in Belfast wrote (305 days ago):
Now 'THAT'S' what modern technology is all about. Her smile says it all.
charlotte ross in Northern Ireland wrote (305 days ago):
charlotte from northern ireland had this done four years ago comg at the end of June and it has made a big difference to and I still were my hearing aid in my left ear regards charlotte
Amy McWilliams in N.ireland wrote (306 days ago):
Amazing video. My son was born profoundly deaf and implanted before his second birthday. It took him a while to adapt to but now he couldn't be without it. He knows no different, putting it on and off is just normal to him. I can't imagine how this must have felt after 40 years of silence.
Michael Monaghan in Belfast wrote (306 days ago):
Amazing what they can do these days!
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