Two-year-old Cooper gasps and laughs as mom says, "Hi Cooper!" No wonder-he's hearing her voice for the very first time. "Cooper was born with profound hearing loss," mom Lauren LaScala, a third grade teacher from Pennsylvania, tells Shine. "No one in our family is deaf, but my husband and I were each carrying a gene without knowing it."
Cooper received cochlear implants in September 2011. "This video shows his absolute first response to any sound whatsoever," says LaScala. "Usually, when the implants are first activated, children cry or do nothing. His response is very rare-we got lucky." LaScala posted the video back in October, but over the last few days its surfaced, LaScala isn't sure how, and gone viral on the Internet receiving about half a million hits as of June 4, 2012 and comments from around the globe.
After eight months of using the device, LaScala says her son is "doing beautifully." He counts to five, recognizes and says colors, and can understand and recite his "ABCs." LaScala says he can also verbalize things he wants. In the video, the first word Cooper asks to be identified is a gold fish cracker, which might not be a surprise to any mom with a toddler.