Three-year-old Grayson Clamp was born deaf. He is missing a cochlear nerve, and for reasons that a doctor would have to explain he was not able to get a cochlear implant.
His parents opted to sign Grayson up as part of an FDA clinical trial to receive an auditory brain stem implant. The procedure, which took place at the University of North Carolina, uses a device that was first intended to assist deaf patients with auditory nerve tumors. Now, according to UNC Health Care, doctors believe that it can “help restore hearing in children.”
So far, so good.
Grayson is the first child to have the procedure done in the U.S., and judging by the results he won’t be the last.
Said Grayson’s father Len Clamp, “I’ve never see a look like that today. I mean, he looked deep into my eyes. He was hearing my voice for the first time. It was phenomenal.”
Added Dr. Craig Buchman, one of two doctors that performed the surgery, “Seeing him respond, that had a lot of feelings for me. I felt like there was a potential that we were effectively changing the world in some ways.”
I don’t know much about medical procedures, but I do know what it is like to be a dad. So much of what I share with my boys is based on things that we tend to take for granted, like health and hearing—and while American Sign Language (ASL) is a fantastic means of communication, the possibility of restoring a child’s ability to hear those that he loves is simply amazing.
I can only imagine the obstacles that Grayson and his family have had to overcome, and I am thrilled that the medical staff at UNC was able to give Grayson such a wonderful opportunity.
Here is the video of Grayson hearing his father for the first time. The look on his little face is priceless.
That’s the good stuff, people.