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New Device Helps Deaf Child Hear For 1st Time

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (KDKA) - A little boy in North Carolina who was born deaf -- can now hear.

He was born without cochlear nerves, which act like a bridge in the ear and help to process and hear sound.

A Cochlear Implant didn't work, so his parents enrolled him in a research trial.

He became the first child in the United States to have what's called an "auditory brain stem implant."

Three weeks ago, he heard sound for the first time.

Think about everything we hear around us every day - the layers of noise outside, from busses to trucks to people.

Until three weeks ago, 3-year-old Grayson Clamp had no idea how what a bird sounded like.

It's a thrill for his parents, Nicole and Len Clamp, to witness.

"He likes sound. He enjoys the stimulus, the input. He's curious. He definitely enjoys it," Nicole said.

Grayson's device needs fine tuning and his speech is delayed, but there is still work to do.

The device uses a microchip on his brain to compute the sound. The installation was a groundbreaking procedure at UNC hospitals in Chapel Hill, N.C.

It's a journey that his father believes started well before this little boy was born.

He and Nicole decided to be foster parents because they wanted to help medically fragile children.

"We got Grayson. Took him home from the hospital and he belonged. He was ours from day one," Len said.

He changed their lives and they are changing his by giving him the gift of sound.


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