Gotta watch: When blind see, deaf hear
Sarah Churman hears her voice for the first time thanks to an implanted hearing device.
October 5th, 2011
12:35 PM ET

Gotta watch: When blind see, deaf hear

Today, Gotta Watch is looking back at some of our favorite firsts from over the years. These videos are inspired by a touching video of a deaf woman hearing her own voice for the first time.

Deaf woman hears her voice for first time – 29-year-old Sarah Churman was born with a hearing impairment, but her life changed dramatically after receiving a hearing implant. Her husband Sloan filmed the moment she was introduced to a device that allowed her to hear for the first time in her life. [cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/10/03/ac-deaf-girl-hears.cnn"%5D

Student takes first steps at graduation – An inspiration to her peers, Angeline Lavasseur crosses two milestones at the same time, walking for the first time to receive her diploma at her high school graduation. [cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/06/06/dnt.student.walks.graduation.wxyz"%5D

Brothers meet for first time – Two brothers who grew up in separate houses meet each other for the first time in more than 75 years. What's more astonishing is the fact that the brothers actually lived just minutes away from one another the whole time. [cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/07/18/pkg.elderly.brothers.unite.wbns"%5D

Blind man regains sight – A legally blind, who suffered from macular degeneration, suddenly regains his vision after being hospitalized for dizziness. [cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/10/05/dnt-blind-man-sees.cnn"%5D

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Filed under: Gotta Watch • Health • Science • Technology • Uncategorized
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Jesus Is Lord

    The deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk and the dead are raised. His name is Jesus.

    October 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blaqb0x

      Funny you say that. Science and Medicine have created a bionic eye, hearing implants, and prosthetic arms/legs. Which are REAL. For the death thing, we're working on it....You can say the same for this Jesus character. I'll believe when you can prove someone prayed and grew their leg back.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blaqb0x

      *can't*

      October 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Even death has been reversed in many cases. It's called resuscitation, and doctors and EMTs do it all the time. Sometimes it's only seconds or minutes after death, sometimes it's hours (frozen lake drownings for example).

      October 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • FSM

      Nope, it's the Flying Spaghetti Monster – look it up

      October 5, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anakaraya23

      Though I do respect all religions I have to say that this has NOTHING TO DO WITH JESUS!!! it has to do with good people, scientists and doctors giving people the chance to walk, see, and hear. "God" and "Jesus" had nothing to do with it.
      ( the man meeting his brother.. I don't know what that has to do with the rest of the article :/)

      October 5, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • TXCowgirl

      And children get abused every moment of the day... His name is still Jesus.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrea M

      Way to give no credit whatsoever to the AMAZING scientists and doctors who are he real people allowing the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the disabled to walk.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guilty Liar

      These scientists and doctors can only do these miraculous things thru our lord. He gave them the knowledge and the oppurtunity. God is great.. and to the one who said Jesus is a false prophet... I will pray for you, you need to be saved.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2/8

      Blaqb0x....know-it-all's like you make me laugh. People have different beliefs, it's unfortunate you only believe in what your ignorance allows. Best of luck in life.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      jesus has nothing to do with any of this. It's called science, created by humans.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      Nope, Chuck Testa

      October 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rang Dipkin

      Hey Jesus,

      Fukh yo couch. How about you turn my water into wine for me and drink til you die of alcohol poisoning.

      Sincerely,

      Jon Paul Bob Smith

      October 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CNN can't get it right

    Why does Cooper keep saying her name is Sloan? SO TOUCHING.... I guess the name doesn't really matter does it Cooper? Just looks good for you.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Greenspam

    Religious right is upset because science has replaced God and actually achieved the impossible.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guilty Liar

      Thats not true, they have only achieved what the lord has allowed them to do. Its very simple really.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      @Guilty Liar, but God made them deaf and blind in the first place, we fixed it. And all the snake oil preachers who healed people in their churches was a joke, meanwhile science actually made progress.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT

      @Guilty Liar: How do you know? Did he tell you that? Did a strange voice inside your head tell you that? Or did you see him do it? Do you see dead people too? *Gasp!* Can you do magic?

      October 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Shauna

    awww that was so sweet... yay!

    October 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kriss greenn

    Why all the negative crap! You can't some of you folks just be happy at teh fact that these people were able to see again or hear. I don't care if you feel it was "God" or just purly science or the combo of both.....just be happy for them and move on.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      Thank you. This is the best post on this comment board.

      October 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kriss greenn

    Why all the negative crap! Why can't some of you folks just be happy at the fact that these people were able to see again or hear. I don't care if you feel it was "God" or just purly science or the combo of both.....just be happy for them and move on.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hashem

    How can someone who was born "deaf" be able to understand what is being said, and more surprisingly, speak?
    She must have had some hearing problems, but she MUST have been able to hear at an early age. If you don't hear, you can't speak!!

    October 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Suspect

      Hashem, you beat me to it! Understanding others could be argued she was lip reading (though with her hands over her face that seems suspect). I think it perhaps was someone with partial hearing loss (perhaps in that ear), and this brought her back to full hearing, or it was a hoax altogether

      October 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heyyou

      Have you ever met a Deaf person? Should probably meet a couple before speaking on their behalf.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guilty Liar

      Maybe she could hear at one time and lost her hearing from listening to her ipod to loud, probally the devils music and now she has been given her hearing back as a gift from God.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon-i-mouse

      Have you never heard of Helen Keller? Deaf people can be tought to speak even if they cannot hear. OMG so many uninformed people in this world!

      October 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Be Humble

      People who are born totally deaf can learn to control their voice and speak. THey often don't get all the intonations quite right... there's only so much you can do without being able to hear yourself.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Betty Anne

      Speech therapy can teach the deaf to not only be able to speak but to use near-perfect intonation – far better than many hearing people who slur their words out of laziness. Those of us who were born hearing and were able to hear our whole life don't pay any attention to the small differences in vibrations in our throats when we speak, or to the diversity of shapes our lips make, or to how our tongue, teeth and throat interact – unless we go through speech therapy ourselves at some point, as I did. (I have a naturally 'nasal' voice and a slight lisp that resulted in constant bullying in school – a speech therapist was able to correct the problems by teaching me to pay better attention to what's going on when I speak.)

      October 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lydia

      That's pretty ignorant. You apparently haven't met any deaf people. They can speak. And, it is not a hoax. Sarah was born with a rare genetic deformity where she's missing the hair in her inner ear that transmits sound to the brain. She was fitted with her first hearing aid at age 2, but even with that technology she could only hear some vibrations and loud noises. She compensated throughout her life by becoming adept at reading people’s lips. Earlier this year, her husband heard a radio ad for the Esteem Inner Ear Stimulator, billed as the only full implantable hearing aid for what his wife suffered from — sensorineural hearing loss. The $30,000 implant was pricey for their working class family. But they saved and borrowed — her mother helped out greatly — and in July, Sarah had the procedure.

      The above is from a more thorough news story on her.

      The video is very real. It's a shame something so beautiful can be ruined by trolls. I wonder what would be good enough for "internet commentators." It seems everything generates negativity.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stupid people

    I love how stupid non-believers in faith attack believers of a religion. It makes you NO better just because you don't believe. You don't have to try to make people feel stupid because they DO believe in something....asshats!

    October 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tommy

      Haha but it makes us smarter. Believing in fairly tales makes people stupid.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT

      Keep your fairytales to yourself so they won't be subject to ridicule.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Having a "soul/ghost/spirit" is quickly going the way of the flat earth and earth centered universe "theories". All you are is in your brain and in a few thousand years you will be worm food.. no more no less.

      October 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Sorry... few thousand *days*

      October 5, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Good Stuff

    I think this was proven to be fake. There was an article on 4chan and a brief Youtube vid outlining it that set it up as a hoax.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Suspect

      How much ridicule Cooper and CNN will get if this is proved fake. They have been running this "feel good" story on the home page for like a week now.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • brett

      An article on 4chan? You don't know what you are talking about

      October 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Suspect

    The video on this page seems shorter than the last time I saw it, as I remember Susan (the "deaf" woman) talking a lot more. My first thought was that this wasn't reported properly... let me state why:

    Did anyone else ask themselves how someone who has been deaf their entire lives can somehow speak proper English with correct pitch and inclination?

    I assume she learned English via visual / writing it, but how does she know how the words are supposed to be pronounced and sounded out within a sentence, since you can't hear others use the words or hear how you yourself are using them?

    You Tube video + CNN reporting, I question your validity that this is the first time in her life she can hear, please confirm.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Suspect

      Sorry, her name was Sarah, didn't hear it right (had to go there)

      October 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lydia

      That's pretty ignorant. You apparently haven't met any deaf people. They can speak. And, it is not a hoax. Sarah was born with a rare genetic deformity where she's missing the hair in her inner ear that transmits sound to the brain. She was fitted with her first hearing aid at age 2, but even with that technology she could only hear some vibrations and loud noises. She compensated throughout her life by becoming adept at reading people’s lips. Earlier this year, her husband heard a radio ad for the Esteem Inner Ear Stimulator, billed as the only full implantable hearing aid for what his wife suffered from — sensorineural hearing loss. The $30,000 implant was pricey for their working class family. But they saved and borrowed — her mother helped out greatly — and in July, Sarah had the procedure.

      The above is from a more thorough news story on her.

      The video is very real. It's a shame something so beautiful can be ruined by trolls. I wonder what would be good enough for "internet commentators." It seems everything generates negativity.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cornell

    PROVE IT

    October 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    The top story about the lady crying when first hearing herself is heart warming... however CNN did not follow up and learn that she was crying because of how HORRIBLE it sounded and she was crying because that was the best she would be able to hear again. Not tears of joy. Tears of grief and disappointment.

    October 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. justathought

    @ Kriss Greenn you just ignore these jerks, I think they are just negitive pot heads that think they are funny. They have nothing else to do until their next fix..

    October 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. anon

    That deaf girl one is fake. She speaks and enunciated her words too well to be considered deaf.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barfsy

      So what is the threshold for deafness? Speaking like a whale underwater? "Someone tell this girl her emotion is unwarranted, she's not deaf enough to be this excited about hearing better. Also, she speaks to well to well to be considered fully handicapped."

      October 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      So I am supposed to believe that CNN pulling a video off youtube and having no sources or interviews with the person who has been deaf their WHOLE LIFE, who not hearing a sound before that moment, can articulate and enunciate words as clearly and has properly as a person that is not deaf? Thats really far fetched. Have you ever heard a person thats deaf speak?

      October 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Barfsy

    This Kyocera commercial is the dumbest commercial I have ever seen.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
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