Two months ago, a drumbeat would not have gotten a reaction from Auguste Majkowski. The 3-year-old was born deaf.
"Learning your child is deaf is difficult. You just have to sink it in, cry it out and you have to move on for the sake of the child."
When cochlear implants didn't work, Auguste's family traveled from Canada to Los Angeles to have an experimental surgery. Dr. Mark Krieger and his team at Children's Hospital Los Angeles placed a tiny device deep in Auguste's brain called an auditory brain stem implant.
"It basically brings sound waves from the outside world, converts them into electrical impulses and transmits them directly into the brain."
August is one of ten children under the age of five who is taking part in the U.S. experiment.
His therapist, Dr. Laurie Eisenberg says he's already responding to sound, but will need years of therapy.
"He has to go through the same steps that an infant would go through to learn how to hear and process speech."
Auguste's mom says therapy is the hardest part of his day, but it's worth it if he can communicate better.
"If he ends up hearing really well or speaking, that's a bonus."
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By Dr. Mallika Marshall, WBZ-TV
May 19, 2014 6:29 PM
BOSTON (CBS) — “Hi baby, hi sweet girl,” coos Jill Bradshaw to her 1-year-old daughter Elise, who is hearing her for the first time at a Boston hospital.
And with that, Elise becomes the youngest infant in the United State to receive an Auditory Brain Stem Implant. Elise was born deaf. She could hear nothing. Her medical problems meant a traditional cochlear implant wouldn’t work, but then she was enrolled in a pediatric clinical trial at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Doctors there performed complex and delicate brain surgery that worked. Cell phone video captured the miracle moment when an audiologist activated the implant. Elise turns toward the source of a sound. “I was just a nervous wreck going into that room that it wouldn’t work,” says Jill Bradshaw. But it did work. “I couldn’t stop grinning probably for 3 days. I was just smiling ear to ear,” she adds. Her parents were ecstatic. “It’s so emotional. I love you, that’s all you can say is I love you,” says Jill. “It makes the world a lot bigger for her now than it would have been,” says Elise’s father Jason.
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