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Toddler gets the gift of sound, hears mom’s voice for first time

Braydy Abbott has her cochlear implant switched on at Sick Kids Hospital on March 7, 2011. CITYNEWS.

When toddler Braydy Abbott began to cry at Sick Kids Hospital on Monday, her parents were ecstatic.

It’s not their normal reaction, but this time, her tears meant Braydy could finally hear her mother’s voice.

“She’s usually a very happy baby so any time you hear her crying is heartbreaking but not today,” mom Danielle Abbott said.

Dr. Blake Papsin, who performed Braydy’s operation, said tears are a common response to the procedure, because hearing is such a shock.

“They usually react by crying, because it’s new and loud,” Dr. Papsin told CityNews.

The 14-month-old girl had been born with severe hearing problems and was almost immediately enrolled in the Cochlear Implant Program at Sick Kids. On February 1, Braydy had bilateral cochlear implant surgery and on Monday, the implants were “switched on” for good.  

“I can’t imagine what if feels like,” Danielle said, crying along with her daughter.

“Tears of joy for sure. It’s so overwhelming. You go from profoundly deaf to now, she’s able to fully hear,” she added.

Braydy isn’t the only one who will benefit from the implants. The Ontario government is spending $5.9 million over the next year so 184 additional cochlear devices can be implanted in children and adults

Health Minister Deb Matthews says the procedure can be “life changing” for people who have the operation.

With files from The Canadian Press.

Cynthia Mulligan speaks with the family in the video below.