The incredible moment a woman hears for the first time

Joanne Milne was borne with a rare genetic disorder that left her both deaf and blind.

 

Kevin Morris

IRL

Published Mar 27, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 1:47 pm CDT

For 40 years, Joanne Milne’s ears had never processed a sound. Words—as spoken things, not letters pressed on a page—were entirely alien to her. And by her 20s, her vision was gone, too, taken by the same rare genetic disorder, Usher’s Syndrome, which left her deaf from birth.

Earlier this month Milne, who lives in Gateshead, England, traveled 200 miles south to Birmingham, where she underwent an operation to install tiny electronic devices, called cochlear implants, that could directly stimulate her auditory nerves with electrons. 

A week later, the implants were finally turned on.

“It might be a bit overwhelming,” the technician warns in the video below, before reciting the day’s of the week. “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…”

Overwhelming? There’s not a word in the English language that can adequately describe Milne’s reaction.

H/T Brimingham Mail | Screengrab via Birmingham Mail/YouTube

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*First Published: Mar 27, 2014, 10:26 pm CDT