Joanne Milne of Gateshead, England was born deaf due to Usher syndrome, a condition that affects 3-6% of deaf children. Though forty-year-old Milne was used to being deaf — "Being deaf was just who I was” — when her eyesight began to diminish being deaf became increasingly challenging. It was then that she sought the air of cochlear implant surgery as The LA Times reports:
"Designed for people who are deaf or have little hearing, cochlear implants were first developed in the 1970s. The device consists of a headset that is removable and a piece that is surgically implanted. A microphone-speech processor the size of a hearing aid is hooked over the ear to process sounds, which are then sent to a transmitter the size of a quarter that adheres to the head, just behind the ear, with a magnet.
"A receiver implanted inside the skull picks up signals and sends messages to electrodes inserted inside the inner ear -- stand-ins for the tiny hair cells that, in the majority of deaf people, are damaged. The message moves on to the brain.”
Watch the incredible video Milne’s friend recorded of the implants being tested and Milne hearing for the first time ever, AFTER THE JUMP…