A 3-year old North Carolina boy recently received an auditory brain stem implant, and the results, as seen in the video below, are amazing.
Grayson Clamp's parents say they tried having a cochlear implant put in, but because he was born without the nerve that carries a sound signal to his brain, it didn't work. He's now the first patient to have received a brain stem implant of this kind, and doctors have high hopes that he'll adapt to the implant quickly.
"One of the reasons we really were interested in this study, children have enormous potential because of their brain plasticity," Dr. Craig Buchman said. "They have enormous potential to interpret sounds.... I don't know what he hears and how he's going to use it, but only time will tell."
"He likes sound," mom Nicole said. "He enjoys the stimulus, the input. He's curious, and he definitely enjoys it."
As you can imagine, it's a little overwhelming for a child who was born without the ability to hear and has lived the first three years of his life accustomed to it. Now, his parents say, they're trying to help him get used to the new implant by sorting out the sounds he hears.
"We don't know exactly what it's like for him," said Nicole Clamp. "We don't know exactly what he hears. His brain is still trying organize itself to use sound."
Grayson's reaction to hearing for the first time was caught on video, and it's pretty much guaranteed to make you smile (and maybe tear up a little). Making the story even more of a tear-jerker is the fact that Grayson was adopted by the Clamps as an infant. They say they feel they were meant to find him.