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Woman hears son speak for first time

08:16 Fri Feb 8 2013
MSN NZ

After enduring 15 years of silence a US mother has heard her eight-year-old son speak for the first time.

Dawn Keim, a 43-year-old Texas mother-of-three, lost her hearing due to a debilitating genetic condition and feared she would never be able to communicate with her children properly or hear her youngest son Asher talk.

But with the help of medical talk show The Doctors, Ms Keim was fitted with a cochlear implant in Los Angeles last November.

The Doctors' episode, to be aired tomorrow, shows the emotional moment Ms Keim hears Asher say, "I love you".

"I love you too," Ms Keim replies as she breaks down in tears.

"Now she can finally hear me and I'm not silent anymore," Asher says.

Ms Keim later described the experience as "overwhelming" and "far better than I expected".

"I was so fearful of what I was going to hear and what it was going to sound like. I'm still overwhelmed."

Cochlear implants, which were developed in Australia, are electronic devices surgically implanted in the ears of deaf people to provide a sense of sound.

Patients can hear and understand speech, although the sound is not the same as natural hearing.