After losing her hearing when she was in second grade, Stephanie Montalvo resigned herself to a life of silence. That was until she connected with a foundation that provides hearing aids to kids in need.
Bill Austin, owner of Starkey Hearing Technologies, launched his company’s nonprofit arm to distribute hearing aids to people who can’t afford them, NBC reports. Austin recently connected with Stephanie, and 74 other hearing-impaired kids and adults, at a “hearing mission” at Yankee Stadium where he gave out the life-changing devices for free.
“I feel like I’m a newborn baby, being able to hear again,” Montalvo told the news outlet after turning on her new hearing aid for the first time. “That’s what I feel when I have this hearing aid on.”
Once the kids and adults were fitted, some of the first conversations they had were with such a-listers as Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and manager Joe Girardi.
Since 1984, the Starkey Hearing Foundation has committed to organizing such missions around the world and now arranges 100 missions each year and delivers more than 50,000 hearing aids, according to Starkey’s website.
"Watching a child light up when they hear their loved ones' voices for the first time is an incredible experience," Austin said in a released statement, "and sharing that moment is something you never forget.”
Click through the slideshow below to see even more inspiring photos of kids hearing for the first time.