Baby with rare hearing disorder hears parents' voices for first time
Published Monday, November 19, 2018 4:27PM EST
Aida Little is 7 months old and can finally hear her parents’ voices.
The Minnesota baby was born deaf, but thanks to a surgical team at a Minnesota Mayo Clinic, she will be able to interpret speech. The clinic recently released a video of Aida hearing her parents speak to her for the first time.
“Hi beautiful, can you hear me? It’s daddy,” her father said in the video released last week. “We love you. We do.”
Aida swings her arms around, smiles and gapes at her parents as they talk to her. At one point she reaches out to touch her mom’s mouth as she talks to her.
“Hi big girl,” her mother said. “Hi sweet pea.”
Aida was born with a rare genetic condition called Waardenburg syndrome, which causes deafness and pigment changes of the hair, eyes and skin, according to the National Institutes of Health. Most people with the syndrome have normal hearing, but Aida was born “profoundly deaf,” her parents wrote on a GoFundMe page.
In October, Aida was fitted with “bilateral cochlear implants” which, instead of amplifying sound the way hearing aids do, deliver sound signals directly to the hearing nerves, bypassing damaged portions of the ear.
“The brain interprets those signals as sounds, though these sounds won't be like normal hearing,” the clinic wrote online.
Waardenburg syndrome can come with a broad spectrum of symptoms, including wide-set eyes and joint issues. Aida’s parents have raised more than $3,600 on GoFundMe since July, citing expected medical bills.
“My mommy and daddy have been taking me to many appointments since I arrived into this world, and it's only going to get busier.. and more expensive!” they wrote in Aida’s voice.