Three-year-old Grayson Clamp was born deaf and until early June the North Carolina youngster had never heard anything. But that has all changed as after an auditory brain-stem implant, Grayson can hear.
The young fellow from Charlotte was born without the cochlear nerves that serve as a bridge between ear and brain and allow our brains to process sound. When Len and Nichole Clamp, Grayson's parents, who adopted him wanting to make a difference to the life of a child with special needs, heard about a trial taking place in Chapel Hills at the UNC hospital, they didn't hesitate.
He qualified and while a thousand deaf persons in the U.S. have had the auditory implant, he was the first child in the country to get it. The surgery done and the device ready to go, the first thing he heard was his father's voice. The little guy reacted big-time and with a most wonderful expression.
It needs to be seen.
Grayson's auditory experiences are continuing and while they don't know exactly what he is hearing - his mom says "his brain is still trying to organize itself to use sound” - he is hearing. Weekly his parents, sometimes with his sibling, are taking trips from Charlotte to Chapel Hills to tweak the system and help Grayson make sense of it all.
It's an exciting time for a family that wasn't made complete until Grayson came into their lives. Those first words he heard from his father? "Daddy loves you."