"I don't want to hear myself cry…"

That’s what 29-year-old Sloan Churman says on the stunning video below, wherein this young woman born deaf hears for the first time with a hearing implant.

Break out the Kleenex.  You will hear her cry.  And yourself, too.

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  1. This might be a silly question, and I don’t mean any disrespect at all, but if she was born deaf, how does she know what the other people are saying. For example, the other woman asks her if she can hear her. She nods yes. I don’t think she was looking at the other woman to read her lips or not.
    I’m curious about this.

    Also, I have read stories about blind people getting sight and not being able to interpret what they see. It takes much training for them to be able to perceive anything more than shapes and colors even if they were seeing exactly what we were seeing. I wonder if there is some kind of a period of learning for someone profoundly deaf who gets hearing.

  2. pagansister says:

    My best friend is married to a man who lost all his hearing at 3 due to the mumps. He had an implant done many years ago. There is a training process that the patient goes thru to help them adjust to being able to hear. He was, however, an excellent lip reader, but now doesn’t have to count on that. It was an adjustment—but he is pleased that he did it. In fact he had one of the first ones and has since had an “updated” one done.

  3. I am curious, too, how clear her speech is for someone who was born deaf.

  4. I was thinking the same too about her speech. Something doesn’t quite add up. But bless her heart. And bless all those engineers out there who have made modern life so much better to live.

    (Yes, I know, self-serving. I’m an engineer. :-P)

  5. Yes, I suspect she lost her hearing at some point (accounting for recognizing language while covering her eyes)–but this is still a remarkable video. I lost a good deal of my hearing for many months, and when it unexpectedly came back, I just bawled. Hearing may not be necessary to having a fine life, but oh my goodness, it’s a beautiful thing.

  6. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    On her YouTube page, people have asked the same questions, and she replied:

    “My whole life I’ve been complimented on how well I speak. I don’t really have an answer for you other than I have always had a passion for reading, grammar, and English. My hearing loss was/is considered severe to profound. I’ve worked very hard to be able to interact and blend in…..only thing I can say is ‘God is good’.”

    “I was born deaf and have worn hearing aids from the age of 2, but hearing aids only help so much. I have gotten by this long in life by reading lips. This was taken as they were activating the implant.”

    Dcn. G.

  7. Meggan #1′s comment on blind people getting sight and not being able to interpret what they see made me think of an article I read; concerning the blind man in Mark 8: 22-26.
    After Jesus heals his sight, he said, “I see men as trees, walking.” The article pointed out that Jesus actually healed him twice, the second healing enabled him to process what he was seeing.

  8. As soon as I heard her say “it’s beeping”, I knew that the incredibly wide range of diminished hearing profiles that fall under the single, quite inadequate term “deaf”, was going to lead to all sorts of confusion about this scene. But, well, other matters call for my attention just now.

  9. I think this is lovely. Regardless of the above debate pondering the authenticity of her response and her level of deafness. What difference does that make? The woman is moved to tears by the clarity of what she can hear, for her, she’s been given a gift. It’s moving to watch just the same. I don’t need to loose all of my leg to appreciate something that can aid my walking. Or my sight completely to appreciate the glasses that help me see (because in my case, I can’t see to function without them). This discussion over degrees is kind of disturbing. Enjoy the joy. Thanks Deacon Greg. Nice share.

  10. “Regardless of the above debate pondering the authenticity of her response and her level of deafness. What difference does that make?…This discussion over degrees is kind of disturbing.”

    It seems that way to you, Kristine, because you have no idea what the wider reality is behind this tiny glimpse. I am delighted this woman can hear herself crying, but there is much, much, more to this issue than what you can glean from the above. You might care to read, e.g., my “Our decision on a cochlear implant”, American Annals of the Deaf (July 2000) 263-267, before weighing in quite so decidedly one way or the other.

  11. My comment was regarding the other commenters’ skepticism and analysis of this particular woman’s clarity of speech and lack of obvious adjustment in her response to hearing for the first time. I understand Dr. Peters that there is a vibrant debate on these kinds of implants, one I cannot even presume to knowledgeably join. That said, in this particular case, this woman seems to be experiencing an authentic joy, which in this 1:31 min of video, I appreciate. Even without the backstory or weighing the debate and having a clear understanding of all the elements of this issue, I can still recognize joy. And share in it. And, yes … I know there are many hypotheticals that could be raised parallel to my brief comment … “what if someone were experiencing joy because they ____.” (fill in the blank with something completely heinous). That doesn’t apply here. Again, thank you Deacon Greg for posting.

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