These Kentucky parents never want their son, who was born unable to hear, to feel left out.
Hope Higgins and her husband, Jacob, first noticed something was wrong when their son Connor wasn’t making the normal baby sounds and rarely made eye contact when they spoke to him.
After taking him to a doctor at 15 months old, Connor was diagnosed with auditory neuropathy, a condition that causes his brain waves and his sound waves to not link up properly.
“At first we were in denial," Hope Higgins told InsideEdition.com. "And we didn’t want to think he was really deaf. Knowing that he can’t hear, it was devastating."
After trying hearing aids, which failed, the parents had to make the decision on whether to get Connor cochlear implants, which would give him a chance to hear.
“I couldn’t imagine living in a world of silence like Connor has been so we wanted to take a chance and get the implants,” Higgins said.
Once they made the decision, the loving parents wanted to make sure their son felt accepted, so they decided to both have cochlear implants tattooed on both sides of their head in February.
Hope Higgins shaved the sides of her head so the tattoos would be visible on the sides of her head. Connor was at the shop when his parents had the tattoos done.
“When I was getting mine done, my husband brought him in at the end of my session. He was feeling my head and pointing to the tattoos,” she said.
In August, Connor received the nearly seven-hour surgery placing the implants and on Monday he had them turned on, at a low volume, for the first time.
He’ll have them turned up gradually in the weeks to come.
Hope said she is excited about Connor’s future, knowing that her son will able to hear and speak.
“It’s one of the best decisions we could have made," Hope said. "It made us a whole lot more humble. Me and my husband are both really looking forward to being able to talk and understand things."
And if Connor, who is now 2, ever feels self-conscious about his implants, he can just look to his parents who are standing in solidarity with him, as evidenced by their matching tattoos.
“We wanted to let him know it’s going to be okay,” Hope said. “We got our ears on and he got his ears.”