For these Canadian parents, their 6-month-old daughter's ability to hear was “the ultimate Christmas gift.”
Francesca Jones of Ontario suddenly started giggling when she became one of the youngest kids in the world to hear from a cochlear implant.
“This is the ultimate Christmas gift,” her mom Julia Tirabasso said in a statement. “Santa Claus was good to us this year.”
She was fitted with a cochlear implant at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto when she was only 5 months old, and doctors explained they would start turning the volume on little by little so as not to scare her.
But even two soft beeps was enough to get a positive reaction from Francesca, who met her mother’s eyes, giggling. The baby girl smiled even wider after hearing her mother's laugh.
The young girl kept laughing as she heard her parents greeting her for the first time in her life.
“To put sound on is unbelievable,” Tirabasso said.
Little Francesca was diagnosed with a common congenital infection when she was just weeks old, and when she failed several hearing exams, doctors determined the infection had caused progressive hearing loss, according to SickKids.
Because hearing is tied to a early development, doctors wanted to fit Francesca with a cochlear implant as early as possible, and thanks to new technology at SickKids, she was able to have the surgery at just 5 months old – making her the third youngest to receive the implant.
“It seemed like it was the race against time to get sound in as fast as we could and with the help of everyone, we couldn’t have nipped this any quicker,” her mom said.