Three years ago, Grayson Clamp was born deaf. Three weeks ago, he became the first child in the U.S. to receive an auditory brain-stem implant—and heard his father’s voice for the first time.
Grayson, 3, who was adopted by Len and Nicole Clamp of Charlotte, N.C., is missing the cochlear nerves that allow humans to process and hear sound, the Daily Mail reports. When the Clamps heard about a new research trial for deaf children at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, they jumped at the opportunity to change their son's life.
Doctors implanted a microchip in Grayson’s brain to help him process and recognize noises. Grayson’s face lit up when he heard his father speak.
Most of the roughly 1,000 people who have undergone the procedure have only a basic awareness of sound. According to WBTV, the Clamps say their new job is to teach Grayson how to make sense of what he hears.
“We don’t know what it’s like for him,” said Nicole Clamp. “We don’t know exactly what he hears. His brain is still trying to organize itself to use sound.”