'It was unbelievable': Infant hears for the first time after cochlear implant
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV Toronto's Pauline Chan
Published Tuesday, December 18, 2018 2:48PM EST
With a tiny smile, Francesca Jones’ parents knew their daughter had been given the ability to hear just in time for her first Christmas.
When six-month-old Francesca was born, it was determined she had been infected with cytomegalovirus, a common virus that can lead to hearing loss and developmental delays in newborns.
On Dec. 10, Francesca became the third-youngest baby at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children to have a cochlear device implanted in her skull to help her hear.
“When she looked up, it was just like ‘I hear that’ and it was just unbelievable,” Julia Tirabasso, Francesca’s mother, told CTV Toronto of the first time her daughter heard a noise.
Francesca’s diagnosis was made through a new program which tests for the virus among babies who fail a newborn hearing test.
“The program's been in place since April of this year and in total there’s about five or six children that have been detected through that program,” said Dr. Sharon Cushing, an otolaryngologist at the Hospital for Sick Children.
“We expect, in Ontario, that about 900 babies will be born every year with exposure to this virus, some of which will have hearing loss and some of which will not.”
Francesca is currently in a hearing therapy program at the hospital, where she will be monitored for other signs symptoms related to the virus.