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article imageCanadian boy regains hearing after receiving brain stem implant

By Walter McDaniel     Jul 24, 2014 in Health
Montreal - Auguste Majkowski can now hear sounds for the first time in his life. Three-year-old Auguste received surgery which connected an advanced form of hearing aid to his brain stem.
He was born without auditory nerves in his ears. Because of that, procedures which worked on other children did not work on him. Therefore Auguste received this implant directly on his brain. With the aid of a microphone and processor he can now hear some sounds and is going through therapy to fully understand his newly discovered sense.
Auguste is also not the first child to have a successful operation of this type. Grayson Clamp, also 3, had this surgery performed on him. He successfully heard his father's voice afterwards.
His mother, Sophie Gareau, first had to find a way to gather money before they could prepare for the surgery. It was free due to a grant and joint agreement between Canadian and United States government agencies but she had to pay moving and living expenses. Auguste is one of 10 children served by this program. Gareau successfully used crowdfunding to secure the money needed to care for their family while Auguste awaited his operation.
Scientists did extensive studies on the device before implanting it. While this surgery went well it is not recommended for all patients due to possible complications. Only those with extreme circumstances such as young Auguste will be eligible for it. Other patients have shown promising results after having Cochlear Implants put in.
His parents have watched his reactions and are quite pleased with the results according to CBC News. Surgeries such as this are not yet available in Canada but they want to work on carrying them over.
More about Hearing, hearing aids, Surgery, Science, Montreal
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