Tearjerker Alert: Deaf Woman Hears Herself for the First Time

  • Share
  • Read Later


Sloan Churman, 29, was born deaf and had never heard the sound of her own voice—until last week.

Eight weeks ago, Churman underwent surgery for a hearing implant called The Esteem Implant by Envoy Medical. Though she’d been wearing hearing aids since the age of 2, she says they “only help so much.” She had her husband record the activation of the implant.

We dare you not to break out into tears with her.

(PHOTOS: The Gift of Hearing)

Churmman uploaded the video on YouTube and responded to touched commenters, “Thanks guys! I kind of wish my hubby would have recorded a little longer but he was crying and wanting to bounce around the room : )”

In response to how well she speaks having never heard her own voice, she said she’d gotten by in life by reading lips. “My whole life I’ve been complimented on how well I speak,” she wrote. “I don’t really have an answer for you other than I have always had a passion for reading, grammar, and English. My hearing loss was/is considered severe to profound. I’ve worked very hard to be able to interact and blend in…only thing I can say is ‘God is good.’”

It’s moments like this where you have to pause everything you’re doing, overwhelmed by the goodness of humanity and the powers of modern technology. This is what it’s about, people. Stay in school, dedicate your life to research, change lives. Do it. We’re going to go find some tissues now.

Aylin Zafar is a contributor to TIME. Find her on Twitter at @azafar. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.